BILL 17 – An Act to Amend the Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Sales Act

premier@gnb.ca
Dorothy.Shephard@gnb.ca

EMAIL:

Dear Premier and Minister of Health

It came to my attention that a private member’s bill was introduced in New Brunswick. BILL 17 – ‘An Act to Amend the Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Sales Act’ states that the sale of all flavoured vapour products shall be prohibited throughout the Province.

Vaping changed my life. I was a heavy smoker for decades until I had a conversation with a shop owner about vaping. The transition from smoking cigarettes to just vaping took less than a year and I have never looked back. The harm I was doing to my body as a heavy smoker over a long period of time was taking its toll and vaping helped me regain control of my health and my addiction to nicotine. I have never looked back!

You may ask why are flavours so important to vapers? The answer is quite simple. When you quit smoking the last thing you want is a product that tastes like tobacco. You want something that satisfies your desire for nicotine but that doesn’t remind you of cigarettes. Most vapers start vaping with flavoured products.

With this proposed ban, flavoured vaping products will not be available to New Brunswick vapers (legally) and I fear many vapers will search out products on the black market or simply go back to smoking. Neither option is in the best interest of public health.

From what I gather, regulations on flavoured vapour products are in place for youth prevention.  I understand the need to protect our young people from the risks and harms associated with smoking and vaping nicotine products. But what about the very people that vaping is supposed to be helping with harm reduction? What happens to us?

Preventing nicotine addiction among our young people requires a comprehensive public health approach that I feel is up to our Government and Health Canada to be diligent in holding retailers and corporations accountable to their obligations under the law. Those obligations which most urgently are preventing the sale of all vaping products to our youth population. By continuing and expanding Health Canada inspections of all vaping retail locations throughout the province, as well as monitoring online sales channels, the risk of access to youngsters could be drastically mitigated.

Vaping is a harm reduction tool that has helped me be smoke free. Flavoured vapour products helped me kick my smoking addiction for good. I don’t want to see any of my fellow vapers or myself returning to smoking.

I ask for accountability, not restrictions; Due diligence, not prohibition; Harm reduction tools, not a lack of resources and a petty rhetorical narrative from officials that put political motivation ahead of harm reduction within their communities.

I ask you to please consider the rights of the adult vaper and throw Bill 17 out immediately! Protect our youth through appropriate regulation on the sale of all vapour products to those underage, not by removing one of the most useful harm reducing products for adults trying to stop smoking.

 

Sincerely

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