Council votes to study stricter vaping regulations in Vancouver

Vancouver city council has voted unanimously to look into regulating vaping, including a ban on ads on city-owned sites and determining how close retailers can be to schools. 

A motion on the issue, brought forward by councillors Lisa Dominato and Rebecca Bligh, was approved at a council meeting Wednesday night.

Dominato said she wants the city to take action because of health issues linked to vaping. 

"To see that we're having people coming and showing up with respiratory illnesses and potentially linked deaths to vaping is deeply concerning to me," she said. 

In the U.S., hundreds have reported a vaping-related breathing illness and there have been more than a dozen linked deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

There is also at least one probable confirmed case of illness related to vaping in B.C., according to the provincial health office, with more potential cases under investigation. 

A number of people showed up at city hall Wednesday to voice their support for e-cigarettes, which they say helped them quit smoking, according to Bligh.

"The problem is the number of young people who are in a completely opposite scenario, in which they don't smoke at all and [vaping] is sort of a gateway," she said. 

Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

Dr. Christopher Carlsten, a professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia, presented to council and confirms the concerns are urgent when it comes to youth. 

"When these youth increasingly use the product, that addiction is going to become more and more difficult to reverse," Carlsten said. 

City staff have been directed to come back to council with a report in the new year.