Beamsville, ON, Jan. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The past year has been challenging for the vape industry, with the federal government and many provincial governments creating additional policy to regulate the industry. The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) has been a consistent advocate for strong youth protection measures that balance youth prevention with adult access to harm reduction products. Provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia have taken adult harm reduction into consideration and implemented equitable policy. Yet, provinces such as Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have failed to follow the science and instead have jeopardized the health of thousands of smokers.

The Canadian Constitution Foundation found that banning flavoured vape products or restricting nicotine content “may violate s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which safeguards the right to life, liberty and the security of the person, because the nicotine ceiling and flavour restriction may potentially make vaping products a less attractive or effective quit-aid for smokers.”

“While the CVA has a history of advocating for reasonable measures to protect youth, policy that violates the right to integrity and personal security as well as freedom of expression will be challenged through the proper legal channels. Science supports vaping as harm reduction and draconian measures have previously been found to be unconstitutional by the Superior Court, which heard the industry’s arguments against Bill 44. Our preference will always be to work with regulators to implement effective policy, however where regulators choose to ignore the data, the industry will challenge policy that is detrimental to public health,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA.

The CVA will continue to provide regulators with the science, which is clear, flavours are the driver for adoption and the key to cessation success. Canadian’s have a constitutional right to access harm reduction products and reduce the health risks presented by traditional tobacco. Judge Dumais who heard the industry’s case against Bill 44 wrote that while the provisions take into account the well being of non-smokers, it seemed to forget the rest of the population, including smokers trying to quit.

Despite, the Canadian Constitution Foundation cautioning governments that action such as flavour bans may violate the rights of Canadians, Nova Scotia proceeded to implement both excessive taxation and a full ban on flavours. As a result, vape shop owner Bill McEachern has launched a constitutional challenge, that will be heard on January 25th. The CVA has given McEachern our full support and will continue to support all challenges to harmful legislation.

As a society, we often wrongfully look at addiction as the result of one’s own actions. By viewing nicotine addiction as a choice, smokers are dehumanized and left behind by poor policy. Governments must acknowledge that in Canada all citizens are equal under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Vaping policy must respect the rights of all citizens as the lives of adult smokers quite literally depend on it.

Darryl Tempest
The Canadian Vaping Association 
6472741867
dtempest@thecva.org