Resolution Number: 2024-3
Submitted by: PEI Home and School Federation

BE IT RESOLVED that the PEI Home and School Federation asks the Minister of Education and Early Years, the Public Schools Branch, the Minister of Health and Wellness and Chief Public Health Office to meet with the PEI Home and School Federation to discuss the prevalence of vaping in PEI’s intermediate and high schools[1],[2], with the goal of investigating the feasibility of installing vape detectors[3] in Island schools to assist administrators and teachers with enforcing substance use regulations on school properties.



[1] Miller A. May 17, 2023. Canada has some of the highest teen vaping rates in the world, new data shows. CBC News (Health) https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/canada-teen-vaping- survey-e-cigarettes-1.6845408

[2] Prince Edward Island COMPASS Health Survey 2022-2023. https://www.livewellpei.ca/node/377

[3] Williams, E. September 3, 2023. New detectors are sniffing out teen vape-users in these Northern Alberta schools.  CBC News (Edmonton) https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/vape- detectors-schools-youth-alberta-1.6954866

Status: Passed
Saturday, April 13, 2024

Destination:Chief Public Health Office
Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture
Department of Health and Wellness
Public Schools Branch

Chief Public Health Officer, May 24, 2024:  Youth vaping continues to be a significant public health concern in PEI. Recent COMPASS study results show 16% of students in grades 7 to 12 have used vaping products with use increasing by grade level. There are health risks associated with nicotine vaping and particular harms for developing youth with the potential to lead to long-term nicotine addiction. Once an individual becomes nicotine-dependent, quitting vaping or tobacco use is difficult.

The CPHO’s approach to tobacco and vaping prevention follows three pillars: Protection, Prevention, and Cessation. The best way to reduce the prevalence and impact of student vaping is to strengthen action under these three pillars. Protection centers on education and enforcement through PEI’s Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Devices Sales and Access TESDSA which are key to reducing youth access to vaping products. These amendments have gone through a period of stakeholder consultation and will be tabled in the next sitting of the legislature. Prevention occurs through provincial public awareness campaigns such as Take a Breath and collaborative school-based education.  Cessation is supported through PEI’s Smoking Cessation Program which includes support for vaping cessation.  The CPHO has a strong partnership with the Department of Education and Early Years, particularly in the prevention pillar, as we share a common goal of reducing the prevalence of youth vaping in PEI.

Vape detectors are a new tool to address youth vaping in school settings. Effectiveness of these tools appears to depend on several factors related to implementation. While vape detectors may play a role in addressing youth vaping in schools, we note that these tools are a ‘downstream’, enforcement-oriented approach targeted towards the vape user. In contrast, the CPHO emphasizes the importance of focusing on ‘upstream’, population-level, preventive efforts centred on the three pillars above. With respect to Resolution 2024-3, the CPHO would be pleased to meet with the PEI Home and School Federation and the Department of Education and Early Years to discuss an integrated approach to reducing the prevalence and impact of youth vaping in school settings.