Colton LeBlanc: It is time for the McNeil Liberals to take action on youth vaping

Colton LeBlanc: It is time for the McNeil Liberals to take action on youth vaping

Progressive Conservative critic for Pre-hospital and Preventative Care, Colton LeBlanc says it is time that the McNeil Liberals take action to reduce vaping among young people.

“The government has a responsibility to protect our children, but their refusal to take action is allowing this dangerous trend to continue to climb,” said LeBlanc. “By ignoring the shocking rise in youth vaping, the Liberals are putting young people at risk of addiction and lung problems, among other health concerns.”

A recent study by Smoke-Free Nova Scotia shows that 48.3 percent of youth and young adults who vape think that they would stop vaping if flavoured products were no longer available.

In October, the PCs started the conversation about protecting young people from the dangers associated with vaping. During debate on the PC bill, Liberal backbencher Rafah DiCostanzo said her party believes sufficient measures to combat youth vaping are already contained in the Tobacco Access Act.

The recent Smoke-Free Nova Scotia report recommendations also call on the government to ban flavoured vape juices, to further restrict sales to minors, and to increase awareness of the dangers of vaping, among other recommendations. NDP MLA Lisa Roberts opposed banning flavours during debate.

“There are recommendations and tabled legislation pointing this government at possible solutions to this problem,” said LeBlanc. “It is up to the McNeil Liberals to take action to reduce vaping among the youth and young adults in our province.”

In recent years, vaping has become increasingly popular among young Nova Scotians. The Lung Association of Nova Scotia has reported that nearly 37 per cent of students from grades seven through twelve have tried an e-cigarette at least once, which is 61 per cent higher than the same rate among all Canadian students within that age range.