Canadian Vaping Association: Proposed vape regulation will spur a strong black-market
BEAMSVILLE, Ontario, Aug. 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Since the election call over 800 Canadians have died from smoking related disease and illness. The current proposal to ban flavoured vape products, will by Health Canada’s own admission, lead to an increase in smoking. Also acknowledged is the potential for the emergence of a parallel black market; however, the likely scale of this channel has been severely underestimated.
Canada’s stance on flavoured vape products is contrary to the known historical outcome of prohibition. Extremely high taxation of cigarettes has spurred an extraordinarily strong black market. According to the RCMP, there are over 50 illegal cigarette factories and over 300 smoke shacks in Ontario and Quebec. Additionally, there are more than 175 groups tied to organized crime that are profiting handsomely from illegal tobacco. The Canadian government has estimated that contraband tobacco makes up roughly 30% of the total Canadian tobacco market. The contraband tobacco trade was worth nearly $2.6 billion in 2008 and the share of contraband tobacco in the overall underground economy has been rising since 2002.
E-liquid consists of only 4 ingredients and is simple to manufacture. The ease of manufacturing coupled with the demand for vape products, makes e-liquid an attractive product for black-market sellers. If a flavour ban is implemented, it is inevitable that the contraband market will flourish, and the resulting scale could exceed that of tobacco.
“Historically, prohibition has failed and restricting vape flavours will be no different. There is no evidence that flavour restrictions reduce youth usage, but there is ample evidence that prohibition will increase smoking rates, strengthen illicit channels and jeopardize the safety of Canadians. The rushed proposal has placed an extremely low value on human life and fails to properly weight the negative outcomes. Further regulation should not occur until the unintended consequences are properly assessed,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA.
Each year 45,000 Canadians die from tobacco use. Vaping has proven to be 95% less harmful than smoking and the most effective stop smoking aid. Emerging science finds flavours are a critical element for continued smoking abstinence and adoption by smokers. Flavour restrictions will undermine vape products for quitting smoking and further fund organized crime.