Mounties investigate vape trafficking targeting youth

The New Brunswick RCMP said Thursday it is actively investigating vape trafficking targeting youth in the Shippagan area.

Members of the Tracadie detachment received a complaint in May alleging that a 35-year-old woman had been selling electronic cigarettes to high school students in Shippagan.

According to police, this was the third report of this nature against the same woman since March.

“Subsequent to the complaint, police seized approximately 15 electronic cigarettes from two students at the high school,” said Chaleur RCMP Sgt. Pierre Chiasson in a statement.

Photos provided by the RCMP suggest the items included flavoured vaping products, which have been banned in New Brunswick since 2021.

Before the ban, introduced to curb a rise in teen vaping, most retailers sold flavours like bubble gum, chocolate, cotton candy and mango.

“We need to give our teens the best possible start in life,” said then-Health Minister Dorothy Shephard in a 2021 news release.

“We need to create an environment where kids are not constantly being exposed to vaping. And we need to support those young people who are already struggling with addiction by providing the resources they need to quit.”

In its news release on Thursday, Mounties said the woman has been issued an appearance notice in connection with the force’s investigation.

She is slated to appear before a Bathurst Provincial Court judge in October.

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