Canadian Vaping Association: New study reveals flavoured vape product restrictions could lead to a rise in cigarette use

BEAMSVILLE, Ontario,, Oct. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A groundbreaking study E-cigarette Flavor Restrictions’ Effects on Tobacco Product Sales provides compelling evidence that restrictions on the sale of flavoured nicotine vaping products could inadvertently lead to a significant increase in traditional cigarette sales. Given that combustible cigarettes are widely recognized as more harmful than vaping, the study’s findings raise pressing questions about the public health implications of such policies. The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) urges Canadian governments to review the study’s findings and ensure that vapour product regulations are inline with harm reduction and Canada’s Drugs and Substances Strategy.

Key Highlights from the Study:

Substitution to Cigarettes: For every 1 less 0.7 mL pod sold due to flavour restrictions, there's an increase of 15 additional cigarettes purchased.

Rise in Cigarette Sales Over Time: While the short-term effects are less clear, the long-term correlation between vaping flavour policies and a surge in cigarette sales is robust. This surge occurs especially when such policies have been in place for a year or more.

Young Population at Risk: The relation between vaping flavour restrictions and increased cigarette sales isn’t limited to a particular age group. Alarmingly, there’s also a surge in sales for cigarette brands popular among underage youth.

The research firmly underscores the unintended consequences of restricting flavoured product sales. While the research indicated that these policies do achieve their goal of reducing flavoured product use, they inadvertently boost the sales of traditional cigarettes across all age groups. Given the stark difference in health risks between cigarettes and vaping, the study contends that the overall health benefits of such policies may be minimal or even potentially harmful in the broader perspective.

“Restrictive policies not only increase cigarette consumption, but they also have a cascade of unintended outcomes, including a potential rise in illicit sales of potentially hazardous products, the shuttering of businesses, and economic repercussions. These strategies inadvertently put youth and the health of Canadians at risk,” said Darryl Tempest, Government Relations Counsel to the CVA.

It is vital for policymakers to consider the broader ramifications of vaping regulations, ensuring that seemingly well-intentioned policies don’t inadvertently lead to greater public health challenges. To date, the data shows that flavour bans have yet to work as intended. Provinces with flavour bans have among the highest youth vaping rates and booming illicit markets. These provinces must re-evaluate their regulations to ensure that they are in the best interest of public health.

Darryl Tempest
Government Relations Counsel to the CVA Board