British Columbia to Raise Vape Tax as Teen Smoking Rises Sharply in Canada

by | Oct 12, 2023

According to the vaping post, Vape data collected from more than 75,000 students in grades 9 to 12 in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, Canada, shows a significant increase in teen vape use among high school students.

Nearly a third of high school students in Alberta and Quebec and a quarter of students in Ontario said they vaped in the past month, the survey showed. British Columbia has also seen increases, but these are not as high as other provinces. Data compiled as part of the annual High School Student Health Behavior Survey considered the most comprehensive survey in Canada, will be made available to policymakers and researchers studying youth substance use behaviors.

“Vape use increased among all students, regardless of gender, grade, race or smoking status,” the researchers wrote in a summary of the findings prepared for the Public Health Agency of Canada. Quebec was found to have the highest rates in 2018-2019 Vape smoking rates, with 32% of students reporting using a vape in the past month, up from 27% in the 2017-2018 school year. Nearly 60 percent of Quebec students said they tried vaping at least once in 2018-2019, compared with 52 percent last year.

British Columbia, on the other hand, had the lowest incidence, with 19 percent of students saying they had vaped one month ago, compared to 14 percent the year before. In Ontario, 26 percent said they smoked in 2018-2019, compared with 18 percent the year before; in Alberta, 30 percent of students said they smoked, compared with 23 percent the year before.

British Columbia revamps youth vape regulations

Meanwhile, as the country becomes increasingly concerned about underage vape use, the British Columbia government will announce changes to youth vape regulations to prevent underage use of vape products.

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix said the new measures will include educating the public, working with partners, implementing regulations to prevent exposure, and forcing the federal government to take further action.

Dix added that the move, which would be the first of its kind in Canada, is aimed at making smoking as socially unacceptable among young people as regular smoking. One of the measures is to increase the sales tax on vape products from 7% to 20%.

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