According to a report by globenewswire, the Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) recently praised the police departments in Sarnia and Calgary for their investigation into companies and individuals selling nicotine e-cigarette products to minors.
Cracking down on E-cigarette cases targeting minors
A convenience store called Gemini in Calgary, Alberta was fined $10,000 CAD (approximately 50,000 RMB) for violating the Canadian "Tobacco and Vaping Products Act" by selling e-cigarette products to minors and failing to verify the age of customers under 25.
In addition, the police in Sarnia, British Columbia, uncovered a case of selling nicotine and cannabis products to middle and high school students through the social media platform "Snapchat." They seized products worth over $100,000 CAD (approximately 500,000 RMB), but no charges were filed.
The Sarnia police are working with federal agencies to determine if there have been any illegal activities. CVA hopes to bring charges in this case under the federal "Tobacco and Vaping Products Act" and the "Cannabis Act."
CVA calls for increased law enforcement resources
CVA President Darryl Tempest said, "The fact is that these regulations can effectively deter teenagers from experimenting, but no amount of regulation can deter those who are willing to break the law. CVA calls for increased law enforcement resources and action by local police departments to protect teenagers."
Currently, punishments for selling to minors in Canada are too lenient and do not effectively deter repeat offenders. While the initial criminal offense may be treated leniently, repeat sales to minors require more severe fines and punishments. For those willing to break the law, small fines become a cost of doing business, and the consequences are seen as benign.
Investigations have shown that minors most commonly obtain e-cigarette products through social sources. The solution to preventing minors from illegally obtaining e-cigarette products is not more regulation, but more law enforcement and resources specifically dedicated to enforcement.