Editorial: Officials too slow to react to youth vaping epidemic

We can’t help but think it’s a little like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted, though.

The province has finally announced a bunch of new regulations to try to curb the epidemic of youth taking up e-cigarettes and vaping.

These are good initiatives and include higher taxes on the products, restricting access, limits on nicotine content and rules about packaging, sales and advertising to make them less appealing to young people.

We can’t help but think it’s a little like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted, though.

Why weren’t these regulations on what is really a new form of smoking brought in years ago when it first started to become apparent this was a crisis in waiting? Did we really have to wait until people were diagnosed with serious vaping-related respiratory illnesses?

The Citizen has been writing about the concerns around vaping and how it was being taken up by impressionable teens and youth (and even some kids in elementary school) for years. From day one it seemed obvious that e-cigarette popularity was spreading like wildfire, with very little information about its health and safety, among this vulnerable group who were mostly just looking for the newest fad. The parallel to smoking conventional cigarettes in generations past was so obvious it was like a flashing neon sign.

E-cigarettes were sold to health officials as a way for smokers to wean themselves off of conventional cigarettes, which contain acknowledged harmful chemicals. And they have been useful to some in doing this. What officials don’t seem to have foreseen was that a whole new generation who have often never smoked conventional tobacco products would become a vast new market to addict.

Regulations were too slow to come. It’s amazing how health and political officials seem to have been caught back on their heels on this issue, when it seemed entirely predictable from very early on. So while we’re all for trying to curb the now-existing problem, we also think that some questions should be asked about how slow officials have been to react and bring in regulations.

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Summer weather on the way for Cowichan next week, forecasters say

Rain accumulations in the Valley in June well above normal

Cowichan School District wins top trades training award

“The welding program provided an amazing head start on my career”

UPDATE: Missing Langford teens found safe

Pair were headed to Lake Cowichan/Youbou area, last heard from in North Cowichan

UPDATE: Missing Langford teens found safe

Pair were headed to Lake Cowichan/Youbou area, last heard from in North Cowichan

Drive-in movies such a success in Cowichan they doubled the features

One hundred per cent of the money collected is going to Nourish Cowichan.

Camping offers a great pandemic escape, for less money than you might think

But for many first-timers, knowing what to bring can be a challenge

Turbulence in Canadian opinion on airlines COVID-19 response: poll

Thousands of people have beseeched Transport Minister Marc Garneau to compel airlines to issue refunds,

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Most Read