/Number of vaping violations getting high

Number of vaping violations getting high

The following are brief reports from the meeting of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District board, held virtually on Jan. 20.

By Steve Petrick

The number of nicotine selling violations issued by the health unit rose steadily in 2021; a sign that the health unit will have to continue to focus on educating about the harmful impacts of smoking.

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge medical officer of health, Dr. Natalie Bocking, unveiled statistics at the Jan. 20 health board meeting, held virtually.

She said the two tobacco control officers employed by the health unit issued 352 “warnings” to local vendors in 2021, up from just 81 warnings in 2020.

Those warnings led to 31 actual charges in 2021, up from 10 charges in 2020.

This increase came despite the fact that those officers were redeployed to work in COVID-related programs for much of 2021.

“Most of the charges in 2021 were issues related to selling vaping products to underage youth,” said Bocking, explaining that new legislation prohibits vendors from selling vaping products with certain levels of nicotine.

“There are tremendous harmful impacts associated with youth taking up vaping and often taking up smoking cigarettes after that,” she said.

The health unit provides services for those trying to quit smoking. For details visit, hkpr.on.ca/my-health/quitting-smoking/

Elmslie to continue role as health board chair

Kawartha Lakes councillor Doug Elmslie will continue to serve as chair of the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District health unit board in 2022.

Members of the health unit’s board voted on Jan. 20 to have Elmslie serve another year as chair, after serving in the role in 2021.

Meanwhile, Cobourg mayor and Northumberland County councillor John Henderson was also appointed to continue in his role as vice-chair of the board.

The health unit’s board is made up of elected leaders in the three regions and holds monthly virtual meetings to make financial and management-related decisions that guide public health programs in the region. This now includes COVID-vaccine planning, but also nutrition, sexual health, oral health and workplace health programs, among others.