FILE – Todd Stone, Liberal Party MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, in Nanaimo. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Just as doctors confirm the first known case of a vaping-related illness in Ontario, a B.C. MLA is urging the NDP government to take quick action and ban flavoured vapour products.

“There appears to be a clear link between vaping and several dangerous and harmful acute health impacts, not to mention potential long-term health implications that are still unknown,” Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone said in an open letter sent to Health Minister Adrian Dix dated Wednesday.

According to the Middlesex-London Health Unit in Ontario, an unidentified youth was recently on life support due to a severe case of pulmonary illness which is believed to be linked to their daily vaping. The youth is now recovering at home.

Dr. Christopher Mackie, the unit’s medical officer of health, said doctors investigated the case thoroughly and ruled out other causes for the illness such as cancer and immune-related diseases.

READ MORE: Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Meanwhile, Health Canada has been urging people who vape to watch for symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting and chest pain. It has also said that health-care professionals should ask patients about their use of e-cigarette products if they have respiratory symptoms.

In April, longtime Liberal politician Stone introduced a bill to increase restrictions on the sale of vape pens and products, as well as toughen penalties for those who don’t comply with standards.

“At the time, you indicated to me both publicly and privately that you shared my concerns about this public health issue facing our youth and that you were committed to working with me to implement tough action to protect our kids from the harmful effects of vaping,” the letter reads.

“Unfortunately, five months later, no action has yet been taken by your government.”

B.C.’s health ministry said last week it is preparing a response to the growing issue, including education and awareness, as part of a strategy to reduce the number of youth vaping in the province.

Black Press Media has reached out to the ministry for further comment.

Stone pointed to the largest concern being discussed across the nation and over the border: the number of youth and young people who have turned to vaping – being drawn in and hooked by companies deliberately targeting their demographic with flavours such as “fruit medley, gummy bear and mango.”

“These companies – and the tobacco companies that own substantial interests in most of them – have also targeted our kids with savvy marketing and advertising (especially via social media), sleek, modern, and compact drug delivery devices, and alluring packaging.”

As the school year is now well underway, Stone called for his private members bill to be considered, which would bring evidence-based awareness campaigns into schools across the province, roll out tougher online retail rules and a complete ban on all marketing and advertising of vape products similar to regulations on tobacco.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wet’suwet’en supporters occupying legislature in Victoria set press conference

Demonstrators have been occupying the legislature since Monday despite injunction

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man charged with killing dog

Brandon Norman Bartlett, 38, appeared in court on Monday morning

Work begins on Otter Point Road project in Sooke

The project now has a fall completion date following a long delay

First Nation dispute closes part of school parking lot in Sooke

T’Sou-ke’s George family now in negotiation with School District

Rail disruptions expected to continue after new protest sites emerge

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

COLUMN: Forestry no longer close to top of B.C.’s economy

Our reactions to a forestry downturn reflect the past, not the present

Caught on camera: Police release video of man who allegedly stole seaplane in Vancouver

Police say the man broke into the Harbour Air terminal and then got into one of the seaplanes in the harbour

51 health professionals send letter to Trudeau, Horgan panning northern B.C. pipeline

They point to studies about the health and climate change risks from pipeline

Fake meat and a latte? Starbucks adds Beyond Meat in Canada

The Seattle roaster has talked about introducing plant-based patties in the U.S., but has yet to do so

Groundhogs got it wrong: spring isn’t coming soon, Weather Network says

The only part of B.C. to warm up early will be Victoria

Most Read