Parents in N.S. community concerned about influx of vaping stores near schools
There used to be a lot of concern when it came to teens smoking.
Now, some parents in one Halifax suburb say vaping is their latest concern after a recent boom in vape shops opening in their area.
There are three schools in the Fall River area -- all within walking distance of each other -- and just down the street are three vape shops.
It’s a cause for concern among parents such as Amie Moore.
“It's difficult to think that there's such accessibility,” Moore said.
Moore's child is going into junior high next year and she's worried about what that will bring.
“Now, we're learning the dangers of smoking, so what are we gonna learn from the dangers of vaping going forward?” Moore said. “It's just not smart, and there's a reason there's an age restriction.”
It's illegal to sell e-cigarettes, vapes, or vaping liquids -- which often have candy or fruit flavours -- to anyone under the age of 19.
But numbers from a Health Canada survey show teens here are using the product.
For students in Grades 7 to 12 in Nova Scotia, almost 37 per cent have tried vaping and almost 21 per cent have used it over the past month.
On P.E.I., almost 30 per cent have tried it, with 17 per cent using it in the past 30 days.
Those numbers are higher than the national average.
In Nova Scotia, they're double.
“Everyone's involved in it now,” said high school student Joel Hodder. “It's almost like how smoking came up; no one thinks it’s that bad, but we really don't know.”
A student at Lockview High School says the type kids use most is called a “Juul” and looks like a USB stick.
CTV News contacted the owners of each of the vape shops in the area. Two responded, but wouldn't do on-camera interviews.
They did say their staff are trained to ask for identification from anyone who comes through the door who looks under 30 years of age.
The device is sold in vape stores, and convenience stores too, but Hodder says that's not how most teens get them.
“If someone has an older brother, an older friend, something like that, they'll go to the store, buy it, and it just gets re-sold around,” Hodder said.
The Lung Association of Nova Scotia is concerned teens may not realize the potential harms of vaping.
“There are some studies that have shown that there are some toxins in e-cigarettes that are also present in cigarette smoke,” said Mohammed Al-Hamdani, the director of health initiatives for the Lung Association of Nova Scotia. “This product is not benign.”
The association is working with Smoke-Free Nova Scotia to develop an education campaign to go in schools.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Heidi Petracek.