October 3, 2019 by The Canadian Press
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says his government is looking at regulations that could ban flavoured vaping products in the province.
McNeil responded Wednesday after the Opposition Progressive Conservatives introduced legislation aimed at addressing the growing numbers of young people who vape.
The Tory bill calls for a ban on e-liquids, and prohibits the use and possession of tobacco products by people under the age of 19.
However, McNeil says the government is already considering a series of potential regulatory changes that would require licences to sell vaping products, similar to those required to sell tobacco.
He says vaping products are regulated by Health Canada, and he believes the federal agency must also “step up” to tighten rules around things like nicotine content.
The premier added that some provincial legislation may also be needed, but there likely won’t be a bill introduced during the current fall session of the legislature.
“We don’t actually need (legislation) to ban the flavours, but we may need to in terms of making other changes that may be required on how we deal with that product,” McNeil said.
He added the regulatory changes could appear before the session wraps up.
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston said something has to be done about a product that was originally marketed as a smoking cessation device.
Houston said while vaping products have probably helped some smokers quit the habit, it’s becoming more clear there are potentially harmful health effects.
“My party’s objective is to make sure the discussion is being had,” he said. “If the premier is willing to engage in that discussion, then that’s a good thing.”
In an August interview, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said that online sales were another challenge for the province. He also expressed concerns about teens being able to purchase products from vape stores.
While Nova Scotia was one of the first provinces to introduce regulations banning the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 19 and banning in-store advertising, Strang said there could be further tightening.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 2, 2019.