The Canadian Vaping Association: Quebec’s proposed vape policy is a failure to public health
BEAMSVILLE, Ontario, Dec. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — With Quebec’s proposed flavour ban looming, it is clear that Minister Dube has not been paying attention. Minister Dube has chosen to remain wilfully ignorant to the science supporting vaping as harm reduction. Flavours are the key to adult adoption and success. Despite every major health organization stating that vaping is less harmful than smoking, Quebec remains on course to ban flavours, the key component making vaping the most effective smoking cessation product in history.
Quebec must look at the global data on flavour bans and recognise that they are ineffective and harmful to public health. Every region that has implemented a flavour ban has seen an immediate increase in smoking rates ranging from 3-9%. This data was again replicated in our own country with Nova Scotia’s flavour ban. The Atlantic Convenience Store Association has stated that cigarette sales had an unprecedented increase as a result of the ban. Surveys conducted by Abducus Data found that nearly 30% of Nova Scotian ex-smokers were at risk of returning to traditional cigarettes.Perhaps, this return to smoking could be justified if this policy truly prevented youth nicotine experimentation and addiction, however it has been repeatedly proven that flavour bans are ineffective at curbing youth use. The American Cancer Society conducted a study following JUUL’s voluntary removal of flavours from the American market. The study found that youth did not stop vaping and instead switched to the remaining tobacco and mint flavours. This is unsurprising given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) findings that 77.7% of youth were vaping for reasons other than flavours. The most common reason given for youth experimentation was curiosity.The Canadian Vaping Association has always condemned the use of vapour products by youth and non-smokers. Vaping is a tool for smokers to reduce the harm caused by smokers. Yet, regulators must be pragmatic when creating policy or declaring vaping a youth epidemic. Health Canada states that 5% of youth reported vaping in the last 30 days. This 5% of youth does not represent daily vaping or addiction, solely that the respondent had tried vaping within the 30 day period.Moreover, the study, “Electronic cigarettes, nicotine use trends and use initiation ages among US adolescents from 1999 to 2018,” further proves that the emergence of the vaping industry has not caused harm to youth. In fact, the study has found that vaping may have prevented harm to youth by transitioning nicotine use to a less harmful delivery system. The study concluded, “Electronic cigarettes may have offset conventional smoking among US adolescents between 2010 and 2018 by maintaining the total nicotine use prevalence and diverting them from more harmful conventional smoking. Additionally, electronic cigarette users appear to initiate at older ages relative to conventional smokers, which is associated with lower risk.” Furthermore, as youth smoking rates continue to decline in Canada, it can be concluded that vaping is not acting as a gateway to traditional cigarettes as claimed by some.The CVA is a proponent for strong youth protection measures which balance adult access with harm reduction, such as restricting the sale of flavoured products to age-restricted specialty vape stores. However, Quebec has failed to create balanced and equitable policy. The data has concluded that Quebec’s proposed policy will be ineffective in preventing youth vaping and will undo the progress vaping has made in reducing smoking rates. Vaping has presented an opportunity to reduce smoking prevalence at a faster rate then previously thought possible. Quebec must embrace all forms of harm reduction.For more information please contact :John Xydous
+1 514 701.7127