City councillors in Vancouver, British Columbia, have tasked their staff to explore a pathway to “a more robust policy framework” of regulations concerning the advertising and sale of vapor products within the city.
This past Wednesday night saw the proposal put to a vote; it passed unanimously. Pursuant to that vote, Councillors Rebecca Bligh and Lisa Dominato urged fellow Councillors to task staff with exploratory research to determine which regulatory options are within the city’s authority to implement. That report is due by the end of March.
Among the policy questions staff are tasked to investigate are whether the city has the power to mandate a minimum distance from schools for the sale of vapor products and whether the city has the authority to prohibit advertisements for vapor products on city property such as at mass transit shelters (i.e., bus stops.) The report is further expected to explore whether or not the city has the power to amend its current rules on advertisements of combustible tobacco products to include vapor products.
If undertaken, Vancouver’s new, more stringent regulations would come in the wake of similar regulatory hikes in other British Columbia municipalities such as Richmond and Coquitlam.
While these efforts aimed at enforcement against underage vaping are admirable, Bligh and Dominato insist on going further, into territory which will make it less appealing for adults to switch away from cigarette smoking. They have asked city council to direct Vancouver’s mayor to communicate to B.C.’s minister of health a desire to implement a flavor ban in Vancouver, according to reporting from CTV News.
The letter is also expected to ask British Columbia’s Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, to tighten retail controls on vapor products as well as penalties for non-compliance.
The city of Vancouver is currently estimated to have 232 general-admission retailers which sell both combustible tobacco and vapor products, 65 liquor stores which sell combustible tobacco and vapor products, and 33 vape shops which sell vapor products exclusively.