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.

Just Posted

Quamichan Lake area a hot spot for bear sightings

WildSafeBC continues education programs for Valley residents

Robert Barron column: School bus rules should be respected

Motorists must NEVER pass a school bus with its stop lights flashing.

‘Nutcracker’ a hit with Cowichan audiences

A big crowd was entranced Saturday, Dec. 7 when the Royal City… Continue reading

Andrea Rondeau column: Remembering the windstorm of 2018; how prepared are you for an emergency?

Last year on Dec. 20 the Cowichan Valley was walloped by the worst windstorm in memory in the region.

Sarah Simpson Column: The good deed that blew up in my face

Why I’ll be ordering take-our delivery pizza from now on

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Most Read