Tobacco restriction has resulted in reduced smoking rates, particularly among youth. However, the growing popularity of e-cigarettes has the potential to reverse the population health gains made through tobacco legislation.

In October 2019, Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS) endorsed the Canadian Cancer Society’s position, which calls on the Government of Nova Scotia to amend the Tobacco Access Act to prohibit the sale of all tobacco and e-cigarette products to people under the age of 21 in Nova Scotia.

In Canada, smokers aged 18 or 19 are a significant supplier of tobacco products for younger children, who rely on friends or classmates for purchase. Given that students rarely reach 21 years old while in high school, increasing the age of sale would greatly reduce the number of high school aged students who would have access to tobacco, including e-cigarettes.

Similarly, retailers are more likely to sell illegally to underage youth who are close to the minimum age. If the minimum age is 19, retailers are more likely to sell illegally to 17- or 18-year-olds compared to 15- or 16-year-olds. If the minimum age is raised to 21, retailers will be less likely to sell to 17- or 18-year-olds.

On Dec. 5, 2019, the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness issued a statement saying: “…as of April 1, 2020, Nova Scotia will ban the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes and juices. Nova Scotia is one of the first provinces to announce measures to address vaping and the only province to announce a full flavour ban.


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