BC’s Health Organisations Cheer for New Taxes in BC Budget 2020 to Protect Youth Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Vancouver, BC, February 19, 2020: The introduction of new taxes on vaping products and sugary drinks in BC Budget 2020 is being applauded by leaders of BC’s health organizations that see them as effective measures for protecting youth health.

“We have championed a tax on vapour products as a response to the dramatic rise in youth vaping in recent years and we’ve advocated for a sugary tax for over a decade because we know that youth are price sensitive and will respond by reducing consumption,” said Shannon Turner, Chair of the BC Alliance for Healthy Living and Executive Director of the Public Health Association of BC.

Turner adds, “our experience in tobacco control has provided ample evidence that pricing works. These kind of taxes work in two directions by discouraging overconsumption and by  generating revenues for health promoting initiatives such as healthy school food, cycling and pedestrian networks and early childhood education.”

Recent studies showed that vaping among youth aged 16-19 had climbed by 74% in one year between 2017 and 2018.  This is particularly concerning because nicotine is harmful to healthy adolescent brain development and can make a young person vulnerable to future addictive behavior and substance use.

Sugary drinks are the single biggest source of added sugars in the Canadian diet and over one-third of youth are considered ‘heavy consumers’. Studies show that more than any other food, overconsumption of sugary drinks is linked to heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.

“Chronic disease accounts for approximately 80% of the health care budget,” said Rita Koutsodimos, Executive Director of BCAHL. “These pricing measures will have an immediate effect on youth health and in the long-term will help to prevent some of the most common and costly chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart and lung diseases and type-2 diabetes.”

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For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Laurie Dawson
Communications Manager
BC Alliance for Healthy Living
T: 604-629-1630 C: 778-231-4535
ldawson@bchealthliving.ca

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