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VSB moves to ban e-cigarettes amid concern from VCH

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Vancouver Coastal Health is so concerned a rising number of kids are bringing electronic cigarettes to Vancouver schools, it has asked the Vancouver School Board to ban the alternative smokes.

Board Chair Patti Bacchus says there is no existing policy on e-cigarettes in schools, but they will be getting final approval on a district-wide ban on March 10th. Along with the ban, she says there will be education on health dangers of the high-tech smokes.

“The other components to that discussion is the need to educate students and give them warning that this is coming so they’re not thinking they’re allowed to use them,” says Bacchus.

Vancouver Coastal Health brought up concerns in January the vapor devices are not governed by tobacco legislation, allowing vendors to sell them to minors and e-cigarette companies free to advertise their products wherever they want.

Bacchus says that makes it easy for kids to get their hands on e-cigarettes. “We haven’t tracked them, but we’re certainly hearing reports from schools that they’re seeing more and more of these. I’ve heard from parents kids as young as 10 and 12 are buying these and thinking they’re toys.”

Some local Vancouver retailers say they won’t sell e-cigarettes to minors, and always ask for identification. But Bacchus says kids are easily getting e-cigarettes by purchasing them online.