Health advocates call on feds to take action to address youth vaping

first_imgOTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Health advocates say if the federal government fails to address the vaping crisis, people will die.They’re calling for action to be taken, just one day after the first vaping-related hospitalization was reported in Canada, and as hundreds of cases are investigated south of the border.Specifically, they want the governement to regulate e-cigs along the same lines tobacco products are restricted.Cynthia Callard with Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada says the recent cases of lung illness caused by these devices only accelerates the need for the government to do something.“I think that it’s the deaths in the United States that have really sobered people, and made them rethink the product,” she explains. “But for us, the longterm health consequences have been a concern ever since the products became marketed.”She notes the use of e-cigarettes is on the rise, and highlights the need for immediate action.“In many ways I feel like we’ve been turned back by about 20 years, that we have to once again go back to the basics to protect kids from a lifelong addiction,” Callard explains. “Although it is a new product, there has been enough research done into the effects on the cardiovascular system to know that it will result in some predictable number of deaths. It also is very much linked to being a gateway drug to tobacco-use.”The groups, which include the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Lung Association and Heart & Stroke want nicotine limits on these products, restrictions on flavours and strict marketing rules.Health authorities in London, Ont. announced that a youth had been diagnosed with a severe respiratory illness related to vaping on Wednesday. A warning has been issued by Health Canada, urging anyone who vapes to watch for symptoms like a cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain.The Canadian Vaping Association, a group which “supports the future of vaping” across the country, agrees the government needs to make changes.Executive Director Darryl Tempest says the products shouldn’t be so widely available.“If you go into these convenience stores or gas stations, you’ll see brightly lit signs, products and marketing materials that are close to places like the candy bar section.”He wants governments to ban the sale of the products anywhere kids can get their hands on them, adding the they’re only intended for adults quitting smoking.“This product is made specifically around nicotine flavoured e-liquid. It is designed for and targeted for adult Canadian smokers only,” Tempest says. “If you’re a youth, of course, do not vape, and if you’re a non-smoker, do not vape.”Just last week, British Columbia’s top doctor said it was only a matter of time before Canada started to see people experiencing the severe effects of vaping.-With files from Alison Bailey and The Canadian Presslast_img read more