Dear Candidates and Leaders,

We are British Columbia residents and voters. We are also vapers.

Vaping is an emotional topic and is not high on the list of priorities for a new government in these uncertain times. However, access to vapour products, for us, and for smokers in British Columbia, is quite simply a question of life or death.

British Columbia has some of the most restrictive vaping regulations in the country. The most recent restrictions, implemented earlier this year, limit the level of nicotine in vapour products to 20 mg per ml, treat vapour products as “public health hazards”, and restricts the sale of flavoured vapour products to age-restricted stores.

We are less than a week away from the provincial election. We have some comments and questions for the leaders of all parties:

Ryan from Surrey: Why are vapour regulations harsher than tobacco and liquor regulations? Minors have no access to our stores even when accompanied by an adult. This is not the case at tobacco retailers and liquor stores.

Jim from Surrey: Why isn’t the government focusing on testing products on the market to remove illegal or tainted products instead of closing up law abiding stores?

Sandy from Hope: Why are they preventing me from buying a product that helped me to quit smoking?

Cam from Burnaby: Why it was not written in law that out-of-province online retailers cannot sell certain products to residents of B.C.?

Chris from Coquitlam: Why is it bad if youth are vaping instead of smoking? Banning vapour products with 0 nicotine to prevent young people from taking up vaping is like banning non-alcoholic beer to prevent people from becoming alcoholics.

We need effective education and enforcement programs not barriers that limit the choice of vaping products to adult smokers.

We remain willing and available to discuss the positions of the vaping community in B.C. For many of us, vaping has saved our lives. Please do not push us back to smoking. We would appreciate a written response to this letter. Thank you.

The Vapers of British Columbia