With more and more cities and provinces exploring or establishing new regulations by the week lately, Prince Edward Island is the latest to join in trying to combat underage vaping. P.E.I.’s answer is a measure known in the United States as “Tobacco 21.”
In Charlottetown on November 19, MLAs for the province voted unanimously in favor of the measure, making Prince Edward Island the first province in Canada to mandate 21 as the new minimum age for purchase and consumption of tobacco and vapor products.
The measure, furthermore, restricts the sale of vapor products to age restricted retailers such as tobacco and vape shops. This combination of policies seems logical and has the potential to be highly effective.
According to the bill’s sponsor, MLA Cory Deagle, the measure was intended to address a surge in underage vaping. Said Deagle:
“I think we could probably all agree it’s an epidemic.”
According to Kelly Cull of the Canadian Cancer Society, the purpose of establishing a “Tobacco 21” style policy is to distance teens from legal purchasers who illegally supply underage users:
“The majority of people who are underage access these products from what we call a social source. That is a sibling or friend or someone who is of legal age who can access these products for them.”
Deagle, for his part, was reportedly gratified by the unanimous support shown his bill, according to the Western Star:
“It was extremely positive to see everyone from all sides support this.”