A high school student uses a vaping device near a school campus in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

B.C. school trustees ask for provincial, federal help to end student vaping

Health minister says he’s planning new regulations that would be the first of their kind in Canada

B.C.’s school trustees are asking for help to stop students from vaping.

Stephanie Higginson, president of the B.C. School Trustees Association, said in an interview Tuesday that her members report more students are vaping and school staff are spending more time policing the problem.

Members approved a motion at the association’s provincial council meeting urging federal and provincial governments to make funding available for vape education and cessation for students, she said.

“Our schools are spending more time addressing, monitoring the oversight of this. So, it is a problem,” she said. “We have students using the vaping products in some extreme circumstances, actually in the classroom, because (vaping) presents itself differently than smoking.”

Higginson, who represents members on 60 provincial school boards, said trustees also want vaping product advertisements, promotions and sponsorships to align with current tobacco legislation.

Any solution should be part of a larger mental-health support strategy, she said.

“We know that kids who have access to mental-health supports are less likely to vape,” Higginson said.

READ MORE: First case of ‘probable’ vaping-related illness in B.C.

The motion will be presented to B.C.’s ministries of Health and Education and to provincial health authorities.

She said the Canadian School Board Association will also be advocating for help from the federal government around student vaping.

“What we need is a more co-ordinated and communicated effort to address this.”

The new physical education program includes a health component that would give schools an opportunity to educate about the dangers of vaping, if they’re provided with the proper resources from government, she said.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement Tuesday that B.C. is planning regulatory action that would be the first of its kind in Canada. He said it involves education, empowering young people, working with its partners and pressuring the federal government to act.

“We know from past experience that campaigns targeted at youth that have been designed and led by peers to create social change have been successful. The goal is to make vaping socially unacceptable much like smoking cigarettes is now socially unacceptable by today’s youth.”

ALSO READ: Health concerns over vaping cast haze over Canadian cannabis market expansion

Health Canada said in a statement earlier this month that it was deeply concerned by the increase in vaping reported among youth.

It said it has taken numerous steps to address the rise of vaping in Canada and, in particular, the risk that it poses to youth. Those steps include consulting on additional regulatory measures targeting promotion to youth, packaging and flavours, as well as compliance and enforcement and public awareness and youth education campaigns.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local state of emergency declared at Penticton home

Slope failure cited as city issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Okanagan, Creston cherry and apple farms in need of workers

The worker shortage is due to the COVID-19 restrictions on international travel

‘It’s just my job’: Off-duty Peachland paramedic saves choking girl downtown Penticton

Family vacationing in Penticton assisted by off-duty paramedic, who helps save 13-year-old

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Therapeutic art for sale at Okanagan show

17th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale presented by Vernon Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Tech mogul growing North Okanagan’s wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in Vernon

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Most Read