Cancer society wants legal age for buying tobacco, vaping products raised to 21

Society lobbying P.E.I. government, pointing to increase in smoking and vaping by young people

The Canadian Cancer Society is lobbying the P.E.I. government to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco and vaping products from 19 to 21.

Members of the society met with government MLA’s this week, and pointed to a sharp rise in both vaping and cigarette smoking by teenagers as a reason to change the law.

“It’s really disturbing particularly because over the past number of years, we’ve seen declines in tobacco smoking rates particularly among this age demographic,” said Kelly Cull, the society’s senior manager of public affairs.

“So to see the pendulum shifting the other way is quite troubling and concerning and really requires some swift and decisive action on the part of our policymakers.”

Vaping, smoking on the rise

A study issued Thursday by the British Medical Journal found that among Canadians 16-19 years old, the percentage who said they vape — that is, inhale nicotine through e-cigarettes — jumped from 8.4 per cent to 14.6 per cent between 2017 and 2018.

Over that same time, the percentage who said they smoke cigarettes rose from 10.7 per cent to 15.5 per cent.

‘We know that the data tells us that young people who use vaping products are also more likely to experiment with tobacco products,’ says Cull. (Regis Duvignau /Reuters)

“We see the increase in youth vaping rates is definitely having an impact on youth smoking rates,” said Cull.  “We know that the data tells us that young people who use vaping products are also more likely to experiment with tobacco products.”

Read more at https://www.cbc.ca

 

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