The Canadian Vaping Association: Misleading Study on Vaping Risks Undermines Public Health Efforts

BEAMSVILLE, Ontario, May 17, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A recent study published in Nature used artificial intelligence to analyze how chemicals from vape flavours transform and affect the human body when heated. This study has received widespread media attention, but its conclusions are flawed and potentially harmful. The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) is concerned that promoting this flawed study could discourage adults who smoke from transitioning to vaping, a significantly less harmful alternative.

Subject matter experts have criticized this study through commentary papers and various digital forums, stating it is fundamentally flawed due to its unrealistic assumptions and methodologies. The study incorrectly assumes that pyrolysis, a process requiring specific high-temperature conditions, occurs during typical e-cigarette use without providing evidence for such conditions. The study references outdated and irrelevant temperature data and uses flawed methodologies from cited studies that do not reflect real-world vaping conditions, such as measuring temperatures without airflow. As a result, the study's conclusions about the health risks of vaping are disconnected from the actual user experience, leading to potentially misleading and harmful public perceptions.

Moreover, this study was published at a time when vaping flavours are under scrutiny in Canada, with an open proposal to restrict flavours to tobacco, mint, and menthol. Flawed studies not only support cigarette sales but also add confusion for regulators. Recent surveys reveal that 87% of Canadians incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful or more harmful than tobacco. These misperceptions are worsened by flawed research receiving widespread attention.

Research and consumer sales data continues to indicate that flavoured vaping products are crucial for vaping adoption by people who smoke and for continued smoking abstinence. Global health authorities and agencies continue to agree that vapour products are significantly less harmful than smoking. Health Canada’s Tobacco Strategy incorporates vaping as a component of its efforts to achieve the goal of reducing smoking rates in Canada to less than 5% by 2035.

“When discussing the potential harms of vaping, it is imperative that commentary contextualize the associated risk. Emphasizing the risks without comparison to smoking can be detrimental to public health and counterproductive to Canada's Tobacco Strategy,” said Samuel Tam, CVA President.

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and illness in Canada, with more than 40,000 deaths attributed to tobacco use each year. As Canada continues to regulate vaping and flavours, the relative harm must be appropriately weighed. Vaping presents a tool to significantly reduce the harm caused by tobacco and more rapidly reduce smoking rates.

About the CVA: The Canadian Vaping Association is a registered national, not-for-profit organization, established as the voice for the Canadian vaping industry. The association is the primary liaison with the federal and provincial governments on all legislative and regulatory issues related to the industry.

Contact: Darryl Tempest, Government Relations Counsel to the CVA,