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

Ladysmith centenarian honoured with birthday parade

Kay Rozzano said she’s been looking forward to this birthday ‘for 100 years’

Council votes to move forward with detailed site investigation of waterfront area lands

The “uplands area” of the Ladysmith waterfront has historical contaminants that must be remediated

Senior who was excessively speeding in Ladysmith says RCMP shouldn’t have impounded her vehicle

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Chemainus animal sanctuary needs your vote in nationwide contest

RASTA is up for $5,000 from Nutram; contest runs until May 31

Heartfelt memories of Derek Descoteau four years later

Victim of Chemainus murder and his brother leave a huge impact on a large group of friends

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

Most Read