Thursday, June 4, 2015


E-Cigarette usage has overtaken conventional smoking among teenagers. 

Vapour shops are popping up all over the place to cash in on a $3 billion business with over 400 brands that include candy flavors. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to know who is being targeted.

A recent  New England Journal of Medicine says "Nicotine clearly acts as a gateway drug on the brain, and this effect is likely to occur whether the exposure comes from smoking cigarettes, passive tobacco smoke, or e-cigarettes,"

Over the past year, the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils has been very vocal in trying to convince the provincial government to follow the lead of other provinces  in banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

 We feel electronic cigarettes are a major threat to tobacco control initiatives and they are a possible gateway to cigarette smoking for youth. They have the potential to leave youth and others with the impression that smoking is the norm.

The use of nicotine by teenagers is a very obvious example of substance abuse. I was really pleased today to read a story on VOCM News that the owner of Vapour XS stores in St. John's has joined the choir  calling on the provincial government to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.  Responsible marketers of e-cigarettes should enthusiastically support sale-to-minors bans without being required to do so.

The use of nicotine by teenagers is a very obvious example of substance abuse.

To be clear, the NLFSC is not calling for a full ban on e-cigarettes - just the sale of nicotine juice and the vapour units to children under 19. 

The NLFSC, the NL Alliance for the Control of Tobacco, the Vapour industry and the provincial government are all in favor of introducing  legislation that subjects e-cigarettes to the same regulatory controls that are in place for tobacco product

The only thing missing is the government's will to move forward. There is no need for further studies, no need to re-invent the wheel. Why has this simple legislation not been drafted and  brought to the House of Assembly? Why the delay? Why is this not a priority?

The House of Assembly has been in session for months and will remain open for a few more weeks, Mr. Premier, please act now.

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