Dear MPP France Gélinas,
I listened today with interest as you read and once again tabled a bill that encroaches on the Charter rights of Ontario residents. I understand that you have reached out to different groups for a quote for your press release, however you didn’t reach out to us at Rights 4 Vapers. I can only assume that you just forgot!
Here is our thoughts and position on this bill that you can quote.
“Rights 4 Vapers, is looking forward to speaking at committee if this bill makes it that far. We believe in science, and we are disappointed that the NDP are choosing not to engage with any consumers of vaping products and continue to perpetuate the systemic exclusion of smokers from the Tobacco Harm Reduction conversation.” – Maria Papaioannoy, Rights 4 Vapers
Additionally, we would like to share a few other things.
The proposed bill is far-reaching and will only continue the myth that nicotine vaping products are as dangerous or more dangerous than tobacco cigarettes. All of these addendums would only further push the products into a black market scenario.
1. T 21 rules. When the drinking age in Ontario is 19. Access to a cannabis is 19 and the voting age is 18. Why the difference for a harm reduction product?
2. The flavour ban, and only allowing tobacco flavour components, does not help the heavy smokers switch. It does not help the current vaper, who uses “flavoured” vaping products to remain smoke-free. Did you and Mr. Cunningham your trusted advisor, look at what happened in Nova Scotia? They had a 5.6% increase in cigarette consumption. (Report Attached – page 39) Ontario, which does not have a flavour ban and has seen a decrease. But as a MPP you know this already, but just in case, here is the link. Table 3.11
3. The push that vape shops would only be allowed to operate if they met approval by the region’s health board. This places a great deal of power to government agencies that have shown time and again that they view vaping as equal to smoking. You realize we have over 30 public Health Units in the province of Ontario? That is over 30 differing views. The majority of Public Health Units in the province do not recognize nicotine vaping products as harm reduction alternatives for adult smokers, who benefit the most from switching to these safer nicotine alternatives, especially for smokers who have difficulty quitting with traditional methods. This would mean that most if not all, vape shops will be forced to close, which would leave deadly cigarettes as the only option for those who do smoke, those who use vaping flavoured nicotine products, or those inclined to become smokers.
4. That taxes be applied, and those taxes be used to promote that vaping is bad. Did Mr. Cunningham go over the revenue that Nova Scotia made following a similar ban? In that same report that I have attached, their revenue was 26% below estimate, a total of five hundred thousand (Page 40). But I am sure that Mr. Cunningham, your trusted advisor on this bill shared this information with you.
5. It bans all vapour advertising. Advertising should be allowed on adult accessed vape shop websites, where only those who meet age requirements can access the website. Advertising must be allowed within the vape store premises, to inform the adult consumer, how to properly use the products, battery safety guidelines, as well as to inform the adult consumer what a flavour profile is in terms of ingredients (which are already) in place on a federal level.
Currently there are two court cases, one in Nova Scotia and a second in New Brunswick dealing with similar prohibitionist bills like yours. I had the pleasure of interviewing Douglas Elliott a renowned Canadian Constitutional lawyer whose firm is part of the New Brunswick lawsuit, and you can watch to see the Charter infringements that Bill’s like this have. – You can watch the video HERE
Based on the aftermath of a flavour ban in Nova Scotia and there was a black market report conducted for Nova Scotia. You can read a high-level review HERE; I have also attached the full report below.
MPP Gélinas, with all due respect, what do you have against people addicted to nicotine, and why do you not value tobacco harm reduction.
In 2021 45 000 Canadians died of tobacco related illness, 0 died from vaping. Why do you want more people to die in this province?
I would be happy to discuss any of the above point more in depth with you.