New Brunswick imposes ban on flavoured vaping products

The New Brunswick government says it is trying to "curb a rise in teen vaping" by prohibiting the sale of flavoured vaping products -- except tobacco flavour – as of Wednesday.

"Vaping products are currently available in a variety of flavours such as bubble gum, chocolate, cotton candy and mango," the provincial health department said in a news release. "Research compiled by Health Canada indicates more than half of the young people surveyed said flavour and smell were their main reasons for trying these products."

While vaping has been marketed to adults as a safer alternative to cigarettes, the province says most flavoured products still contain nicotine and some have nicotine levels equal to or higher than the amount found in cigarettes, the province said in the release.

"Vaping is not harmless," said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. "These products contain harmful chemicals and nicotine."

The province says a survey conducted by the New Brunswick Health Council in 2018-19 showed that 29 per cent of students said they had tried an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, compared with 22 per cent three years earlier.

Shephard says research shows young people who vape are twice as likely to try smoking and are almost twice as likely to become daily smokers within a year.

"We need to give our teens the best possible start in life," said Shephard. "We need to create an environment where kids are not constantly being exposed to vaping. And we need to support those young people who are already struggling with addiction by providing the resources they need to quit."

Counselling services for people who want to quit smoking or vaping are available from Go Smoke-Free NB at 1-866-366-3667.

To report retailers selling flavoured vaping products or selling any vaping products to minors, call 1-866-234-4234.