FLAVOUR BANS WILL DRIVE MILLIONS OF VAPERS BACK TO SMOKING – Health Canada abdicates its responsibility to protect the health of ALL Canadians

Toronto, Ontario – June 18, 2021 – Canadian vapers and smokers have been abandoned by the federal government. The new proposed regulations that will ban all flavoured vapour products will make these products less appealing to smokers looking for a reduced harm alternative to smoking and drive current vapers back to smoking.

“Health Canada is willfully making a proven tobacco harm reduction tool less appealing to smokers and vapers,” said Maria Papaioannoy, spokesperson for Rights4Vapers, Canada’s largest vaper consumers’ rights organization. “It is putting vapers and smokers who are looking to quit at risk by removing products from store shelves that have helped millions of Canadians throw their cigarettes away for good.”

Public health organizations around the world agree: vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking. Health Canada acknowledges this fact on its website. Yet, it continues to ignore the potential public health benefits of a progressive vaping regulatory framework to appear to be fighting an imagined vaping epidemic to gain political points.

“Health Canada acknowledges that cigarette smoking kills 48,000 Canadians a year and that vaping is far less hazardous. But then actively engages in measures that will kill the legal vaping market and thus many more Canadians who will continue smoking,” said David Sweanor, Adjunct Professor of Law, the University of Ottawa. “It is time to reject abstinence-only agendas and embrace basic public health principles.”

Flavour bans are serious enough that there are currently three Charter challenges in Canada at different stages in the legal processes. The Canadian Constitutional Foundation believes “…flavor restrictions, have the potential to make [vapes] less attractive or effective as quit-aids—and are considered from the standpoint of potential interference with the right not to be deprived of life, liberty, and the security of the person protected.”

“The federal government’s three-part attack on vaping – reduced nicotine concentration, new excise taxes and flavour bans – will reduce the number of smokers moving to a much less risky product, will create a huge illegal market, will devastate a vibrant domestic industry and send vapers back to smoking,” said Professor Ian Irving of Concordia University.

The illicit and unregulated market will thrive if tobacco flavours are the only option, and, smokers will stop switching to vaping. This is not an example of health equity, where smokers and vapers are treated like second class citizens. Everyone has the right of life, liberty and security.

“Flavour bans make vaping less attractive to everyone and are proven to increase the smoking of deadly tobacco. Health Canada has committed to a ‘Tobacco End Game’, reducing tobacco smoking to under five percent by 2035. To achieve this, they need to encourage smokers to switch to vapes. Vape bans do the exact opposite,” said Dr. John Oyston, Assistant Professor, the University of Toronto.

Flavour bans encourage those who vape to return to smoking. We have seen this play out in two jurisdictions. In Nova Scotia, which currently hold the title of the most prohibitive regulations in Canada, sales of tobacco increased for the first time in a decade after a flavours ban. Similarly in San Francisco, which invoked one of the first flavour bans in North America, is seeing an increase in teen smoking rates according to the Yale School of Public Health.

“Health Canada should be protecting the health of all Canadians, smokers and vapers alike. Vaping is a proven and successful way for smokers to quit. Let’s give it the space and opportunity to do so in Canada and save lives,” said Ms. Papaioannoy.

As vaping continues to come under attack from governments and media, Rights4Vapers will continue to fight for evidenced based regulations and the right for effective and accessible alternatives to traditional cigarettes.

-30-

About: Rights4Vapers is a movement dedicated to advancing evidence-based regulations on vaping. We are an informal collection of committed volunteers who believe that vapers deserve to make an informed choice. We are guided by unpaid academic advisors.

Media inquiries: media@rights4vapers.com