The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation Of School Councils is making great headway in our campaign to have legislation enacted in this province to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to youth under the age of 19.
Last week we met with Hon. Clyde Jackman, Minister of Seniors, Wellness and Social Development to discuss the issue. Not only was it a productive meeting, but there was very little lobbying needed. The Minister and his officials were very supportive and engaged in the file.
We asked the department follow the lead of Ontario and introduce legislation that subjects e-cigarettes to the same regulatory controls that are in place for tobacco products.
Mr. Jackman was very concerned about the potential of reversing the great strides that have been made in educating youth about the harmful effects of smoking and nicotine addiction. Research shows that mimicking cigarette smoking usually leads to the real thing.
I certainly encourage concerned parents, school councils and other concerned groups to encourage government to implement regulations before this gateway to nicotine addiction gets a hold on our youth.
He endorsed the importance of implementing these regulations as quickly as possible. We are hoping they could be introduced and passed by the House of Assembly in the Spring Session.
I also took advantage of the meeting to echo the concerns of the Association for the Control of Tobacco regarding flavored tobacco which appears to be aimed at young smokers.
From the point of view of an advocate, it was really satisfying to sit in a room with the people responsible for making changes knowing that they were truly committed to the issue.
I'll keep you update on my progress and will continue to publish articles reflecting the growing concerns in the medical and scientific community about e-cigarette safety.