BEAMSVILLE, Ontario, Sept. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In the Canadian Vaping Association’s (CVA) submission, filed during Health Canada’s stakeholder consultation period, the CVA details its opposition to restrictions on flavoured vaping products. The submission states that the Canada Gazette fails to provide any evidence to support its flawed risk assessment and contradicts the immense amount of research demonstrating that vaping is an effective harm reduction tool.
Extensively acknowledged throughout the Gazette are the negative outcomes of restricting flavours, which include significantly increased smoking rates, a strong black-market, the closure of Canadian small businesses, and a disproportional impact on minority groups who were neither studied nor consulted. These negative outcomes have not been adequately weighted, and as a result, an extremely low value has been placed on human life.
Health Canada has acknowledged the emerging science finding that smokers who quit using a flavoured vape product are almost twice as likely to be successful quitting than those using an unflavoured product. Additionally, the department acknowledges the receipt of postcards from 23,000 vapers indicating that flavours are vital for their continued smoking abstinence. Yet, the statements of thousands of adult vapers are dismissed as anecdotal, and the modelling does not adequately account for their return to smoking.
While vapers returning to smoking are not appropriately represented within the modelling, dual users returning solely to smoking are. It is stated that there is no health benefit to dual use. This is contrary to the well accepted principle of harm reduction that is a cornerstone of every modern public health initiative. Instead, it rests on a fallacious binary option, where smoking and abstaining from nicotine use are the only alternatives for adults. This view is an endorsement of the discredited “abstinence” or “prohibition” models that have been discarded by modern democracies such as Canada in all other public health contexts as ineffective, unscientific, unrealistic, unenforceable, counterproductive, and ultimately harmful to public health.
“Though once a leader in tobacco harm reduction, through regressive policy, Canada will become one of the most attractive western countries to operate in as a tobacco company. Flavour restrictions will give the industry, in its entirety, to tobacco companies and the black-market, while simultaneously increasing smoking rates. New Zealand and the UK have embraced vaping as a harm reduction tool and are on track to eliminate tobacco use within the decade, while Canada is proposing regulation that will push thousands of vapers back to smoking,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA.
Canada has already seen the results of a flavour ban in Nova Scotia. Within 90 days of implementation, there was an unprecedented increase in cigarette sales, small businesses were decimated, and illicit channels surged. Nova Scotia is not the template on which to base federal regulation and should serve as a warning of the unintended consequences of restricting flavours.
New research finds that flavour restrictions put youth at greater risk, through increased odds of smoking and through easier access to potentially dangerous black-market products. Thus, flavour restrictions result in increased risk to youth, fewer jobs, and more smokers.
The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) is a registered national, not-for-profit organization, established as the voice for the independent Canadian vaping industry. The CVA represents over 200 retail and online vaping businesses in Canada and has no funding or affiliation with tobacco companies or their affiliates. The CVA acts as a liaison with the federal and provincial governments on all legislative and regulatory issues related to the independent vape industry.
Darryl Tempest, Executive Director