NPA City Councillors Bligh and Dominato call for a more robust policy framework relating to the sale and promotion of vaping products

November 4, 2019, Vancouver, B.C. – NPA City Councillors Rebecca Bligh and Lisa Dominato are calling for a more robust policy framework relating to the sale and promotion of vaping products in the City of Vancouver amid growing calls to limit, or even ban, these products and their promotion.

In a motion jointly submitted by Councillors Bligh and Dominato for this Tuesday’s Council meeting, they note an increase in the number of Vancouver retailers selling vape equipment and supplies, as well as the serious concerns many health professional and others are expressing regarding the health risks associated with vaping – particularly concerns surrounding the advertising of vaping products which often targets minors and youth.
 
Councillors Bligh and Dominato point out that the City does not currently impose any specific restrictions on the sale of vape equipment and supplies: For example, there is no minimum distance requirement between retailers of vaping equipment and supplies, which is a requirement for liquor stores and cannabis retailers, nor does the City have a license category specific to retailers who sell vape products.
 
The motion also points to the increasing number of B.C. municipalities and school districts calling for a more robust policy framework to address issues related to vaping and vape products, including calling on the provincial and federal governments to take action due to the greater regulatory scope specific to these senior orders of government.
 
QUOTES:

  • Councillor Rebecca Bligh: “For the first time in 35 years we see an increase in the number of youth smoking. We have a responsibility to protect the younger generation as best we can by limiting the advertising in and around public transit, banning flavoured vapes such as cotton candy and others that entice young people, and limiting the broad accessibility and availability of vapes across the city.”
  • Councillor Lisa Dominato: “We must take actions now to restrict advertising and distribution of vaping products that are seeing an increase in use among teens and young adults. The progress we’ve made over decades to reduce tobacco use and its adverse health impacts is being reversed by a startling increase in vaping. We need coordinated policy and regulations at all levels of government to get ahead of vaping before we see further negative impacts.”


Specifically, the motion submitted by Councillors Bligh and Dominato calls on Council to “direct staff to explore various regulatory measures and actions within the City’s jurisdictional powers, either through the Vancouver Charter or other relevant legislation, as a step toward the establishment of a more robust policy framework relating to the sale and promotion of vaping products in Vancouver.” City staff would then report back to Council before the end of Q1 in 2020 with recommendations and options for Council’s consideration such as:

  • Measures to limit the proximity of vape retailers to schools, youth-oriented facilities, and other recreation facilities, parks, and libraries etc. frequented by youth,
  • Measures to ban advertisements for vaping products on sites and properties the City owns and/or has sufficient control over, including transit shelters, transit benches, and other street furniture etc., and
  • Changes to the City’s sponsorship policy as it pertains to tobacco products to include vape products etc.

The motion also empowers the Mayor, on behalf of City Council, to write to the provincial Minister of Health in support of a ban on flavoured vaping products, as well as calling on the province to bring in tighter retail controls on vaping products, to set tougher penalties for non-compliance, and to develop educational tools to stop students from vaping in the first place: Including any other measures that would serve to avert the serious health impacts and public policy implications that vaping and vape products represent to B.C. and B.C.’s communities.

Likewise, the motion – if it is supported by the majority on Council – would empower the Mayor to write to the Prime Minister of Canada and the federal Minister responsible for the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act urging them to amend the Act and all relevant regulations to restrict the advertisement of vape products as is the case with limits to advertising tobacco products.

A copy of the motion submitted by Councillors Bligh and Dominato can be found here: https://council.vancouver.ca/20191105/documents/motionb3.pdf

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