Brief: Revelstoke school district proposes adding vaping to smoke-free policy

Proposed amendments to the Revelstoke School District policies to add electronic cigarettes to the existing tobacco use ban on school property.

The steamy, often flavoured exhale of a vapour e-cigarette.

Revelstoke’s school district is proposing adding a vaping ban to their existing smoke-free policy.

Currently, tobacco product use — spanning the range from cigarettes to chewing tobacco — is banned on school property in the Revelstoke district under local policy. In B.C., the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act already bans tobacco and vapour products on all Kindergarten to Grade 12 school sites.

The amendment to the policy will add vaping, AKA e-cigarettes, to the list of banned products in the Revelstoke district.

The Revelstoke Board of Education is set to review the policy change at their May 9 meeting.

There has been a broad range of debate over the electronic cigarettes in the past years, especially as government regulation struggles to keep up with the times. Vapour cigarettes use a small, battery-powered device to heat a liquid that contains nicotine, which is then inhaled.

Detractors point to the unregulated and unresearched nature of the product, noting the often flavoured ‘e-juice’ can contain other harmful chemicals.

Proponents argue e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes and can be a tobacco cessation tool; however, detractors argue the opposite: that addictive e-cigarettes are perceived as less harmful, and that they can be a gateway to tobacco use, especially with young people.

Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in Canada. The Government of Canada estimates 37,000 Canadians die because of tobacco use each year. Many more are diagnosed with illnesses related to tobacco use. Every 10 minutes, two Canadian teenagers start smoking.

Read the proposed policy here:

School District 19 Tobacco, Smoke and Vapour Free Facilities policy, with proposed amendments to add vapour products. It is set for discussion at the May 9, 2018 Revelstoke Board of Education meeting. Image: School District No. 19