The Canadian Vaping Association calls on the federal government to maintain science-based vaping regulations

The Canadian Vaping Association calls on the federal government to maintain science-based vaping regulations

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BEAMSVILLE, Ontario, Feb. 23, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) is dedicated to promoting tobacco harm reduction (THR) strategies for adults while endorsing policies that safeguard youth from nicotine addiction and exposure. Global experts, including some who have testified in court, argue that certain measures proposed by health organizations, like flavour bans and high taxes, actually hinder harm reduction efforts and fail to reduce vaping experimentation among young people.

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Contrary to many claims, a blanket ban on flavoured vaping products is a harmful approach to public health. Research finds that flavours play a crucial role in the adoption of vaping by adult smokers and that using a flavoured product to quit smoking significantly increases the likelihood of a successful quit attempt. Moreover, mounting evidence suggests that banning flavours leads to an increase in smoking among both adults and youth. Rather than imposing flavour bans, the CVA supports, based on the strongest evidence, the enforcement of regulations that protect young people while also promoting harm reduction for adults. This includes strict age-verification processes, extensive youth prevention initiatives, and rigorous enforcement of existing laws that already ban the sale and marketing of vaping products to minors.

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Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey (CTNS) data is clear that while in hypothetical surveys may appear to reduce youth usage, restrictive policies like flavour bans and taxation have yet to be effective in real world applications. On average, provinces that have implemented flavour bans exhibit the highest rates of youth usage. Conversely, provinces like Ontario and Alberta with balanced regulation have the lowest rates of youth vaping in Canada.

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This is likely because flavours have not been found to be a primary driver for youth experimentation. Though young people may prefer flavours, as do adults, according to the 2021 CTNS, the leading reason reported for why those aged 15-19 vape was to reduce stress. Youth also reported vaping because they enjoy it, curiosity, and ‘other reasons’.

The prevalence of stress relief through vaping among youth, is a recurring theme in various youth usage surveys. Most commonly, young people cite depression, anxiety, or mental health as the primary reasons for experimenting with vaping. Acknowledging this is crucial because proponents of flavour bans and other restrictive measures frequently overlook this data, opting instead for simplistic and ineffective regulations that fail to address the root cause of the issue.

Additionally, health organizations have come together to propose nicotine pouches be restricted to prescription-only access, overlooking the tangible benefits of these products in harm reduction strategies. Rather than restricting access, the CVA supports measures that ensure responsible marketing and appropriate age restrictions, in line with established tobacco control principles. These policies have been found to achieve the lowest rates of youth experimentation while supporting adults who smoke in their transition to a far less harmful product.

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“Before adopting any further NGO policy recommendations, it’s essential to review the outcomes of such policies. The results from provinces that have enacted flavour bans clearly show a discrepancy between the intended policy goals and the actual outcomes.

“If Canada is to achieve its goal of being smoke-free by 2035, adults who smoke need to be aware of all quit options. Flavour bans weaken the efficacy of these products and slow our progress in achieving a smoke-free society. The CVA calls on Minister Holland to convene a roundtable of leading experts, akin to the Cannabis review, to ensure future regulations are grounded in scientific evidence,” said Darryl Tempest, Government Relations Counsel to the CVA Board.

The CVA urges policymakers to consider evidence-based approaches that prioritize both youth protection and adult harm reduction, rather than resorting to reactionary measures that hinder Canada’s goal of becoming smoke-free by 2035.

About the CVA: The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) is a registered national, not-for-profit organization, established as the voice for the Canadian vaping industry. The CVA represents over 200 vaping businesses in Canada, and receives no funding from tobacco companies or affiliates. The primary goal of CVA is to ensure that government regulation is reasonable and practical, through the strategy of proactive communication. 

Darryl Tempest
Government Relations Counsel to the CVA Board
dtempest@thecva.org
647-274-1867


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