Vaping out of control in T&T - AG

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 16:45

Va­p­ing is a new trend that is now re­ceiv­ing crit­i­cal at­ten­tion and analy­sis from leg­is­la­tors, not on­ly in coun­tries like the Unit­ed States but here at home as well.

Va­p­ing is the in­hal­ing of vapour cre­at­ed by an elec­tron­ic cig­a­rette or oth­er va­p­ing de­vices.


It has be­come sig­nif­i­cant­ly pop­u­lar in this coun­try with va­p­ing stores and bars pop­ping up in sev­er­al ar­eas.

But At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi ad­mit­ted va­p­ing has al­ready got­ten out of con­trol in this coun­try and he called it the “Wild West.”

He said pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures need to be put in place.

“To­bac­co is law­ful in this coun­try, how you sell to­bac­co, how you ad­ver­tise to­bac­co, what the warn­ing sig­nals are; these are part of the leg­isla­tive struc­ture. We need to do the same thing as it comes to va­p­ing, par­tic­u­lar­ly as it is un­known, ” he said.

In the Unit­ed States va­p­ing has been hot on the agen­da and has been wide­ly re­port­ed on, es­pe­cial­ly as it re­lat­ed to the re­lat­ed deaths.

An NBC News ar­ti­cle dat­ed Sep­tem­ber 17th, 2019 re­port­ed that sev­en peo­ple died from a “se­vere lung ill­ness linked to va­p­ing.”

In New York, the New York Times has re­port­ed that “Amid a surge of va­p­ing-re­lat­ed ill­ness­es and deaths, Gov­er­nor An­drew M. Cuo­mo of New York an­nounced on Sun­day that he would pur­sue emer­gency reg­u­la­tions to quick­ly ban the sale of flavoured e-cig­a­rettes.”

The con­cern by Al-Rawi came at a time when the coun­try is ac­tive­ly dis­cussing the is­sue of drugs like the “Zess­er Pill,” a mix­ture of co­caine and ec­sta­sy.

In re­cent times many stake­hold­ers and con­cerned cit­i­zens called for drugs like ec­sta­sy to be banned. The AG said the Gov­ern­ment has lis­tened.

“We’ve al­ready done by way of or­der amend­ments to make il­le­gal un­der the dan­ger­ous drugs act Crys­tal Meth. Crys­tal Meth can be pro­duced by com­mon arrange­ments us­ing over the counter drugs etc. Sim­i­lar­ly, for the first time in this coun­try brought un­der the dan­ger­ous drugs act what is known as ec­sta­sy.”

On­ly yes­ter­day the Po­lice Ser­vice said it was mak­ing moves to have leg­is­la­tion brought to amend the Dan­ger­ous Drugs Act to in­clude the mis­use to over the counter drugs.

“Lit and Lean (street drugs) can be made by any young per­son with knowl­edge of the for­mu­la and they could go to any drug store and get the in­gre­di­ents. You go to pick up cough syrup and one or two oth­er things and mix that and you form your po­tion and you could get your Lit and your Lean and you haven’t gone to any block or any cor­ner at all.” Sergeant David Swan­son, TTPS Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer.

A sim­i­lar call was made by An­ti-Drug Ac­tivist Garth St Clair last week.

But the AG said laws alone won’t solve the prob­lems.

“We in this coun­try re­spect­ful­ly don’t need laws for every­thing,” Al-Rawi said

He agreed with a sug­ges­tion made by St Clair that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of drug ed­u­ca­tion as part of the school cur­ricu­lum is need­ed to help curb the drug sit­u­a­tion.

“I think he is on to a very prop­er cord. Cer­tain­ly, I know it is some­thing the Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion is look­ing at. We ought not to shy away from these things.”

- by Chester Sambrano