Access to vapour products will improve public health and save the health care system billions

Hamilton, ON, Aug. 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) has always advocated for the positive impact that vapour products have on public health and has recognized the potential cost savings these products can provide to our publicly funded health care system. A recent study in Epidemiology, “Potential Country-level Health and Cost Impacts of Legalizing Domestic Sale of Vaporized Nicotine Products,” demonstrates that access to vapour products extends life expectancy and greatly reduces the cost of public health care.“This modeling suggested that a fairly permissive regulatory environment around vaporized nicotine products achieves net health gain and cost savings,” concluded the study. Specifically, the study found that if vapour products are accessible within New Zealand, an average of 19 healthy days will be added to each life. Additionally, it was estimated that the New Zealand health care system would save NZ$3.4 billion (CAD$2.94 billion) as a result of fewer people developing tobacco-related illnesses.“It has been repeatedly proven that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking.  This study again substantiates the harm reduction potential of vaping, showing that accessibility to vape products increases life expectancy. Governments have both a moral and legislative obligation to ensure that these life-saving products remain widely accessible to adult smokers, within age restricted environments. In addition to the studies which show that vaping products are of great benefit to public health, there is now clear evidence that these products have a significant positive impact on the health care system. There are an estimated 500,000 smokers in New Zealand and this study estimates that ensuring accessibility to vapour products will save their health care system NZ$3.4 billion or $720 per citizen. In Canada we have an estimated 4.6 million smokers; if we extrapolate the data from this study, we find that accessibility to vapour products has the potential to save our health care system CAD$27 billion. The tax revenues lost through reduced tobacco sales as smokers transition to vaping products is recouped by the savings realized by our health care system, while greatly extending the lives of millions of smokers,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA.Co-author and University of Queensland researcher, Associate Professor Coral Gartner said the findings strongly support that vapour products should be free of excise tax to ensure that they remain cheaper than smoking. Gartner also stated that for vapour policy to be effective other measures, such as decreasing the places traditional cigarettes can be sold, must be put into place. The study researchers also advocate for vapour product sales to include expert advice on operation, nicotine concentration and device selection.The CVA agrees with researchers that the key to effective regulation is thoughtful policies which discourage use by youth and non-smokers, while supporting accessibility for smokers who have or wish to transition to this much less harmful alternative. Policies which limit vapour product sales to age restricted specialty vape shops, such as those recently implemented in Ontario, significantly restrict youth access while allowing adults smokers to purchase these products in an environment focused on harm reduction and education from staff that are highly knowledgeable on the transition process. Through such progressive regulation we can unburden our health care system while saving the lives of millions of Canadian smokers.Darryl Tempest
The Canadian Vaping Association 6472741867
[email protected]

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