The Canadian Vaping Association questions why Nova Scotia has yet to produce any data showing a decline in youth vaping since its flavour ban
BEAMSVILLE, Ontario, Feb. 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vape product flavour restrictions have been positioned by youth advocacy groups and some health organizations as the best way to prevent youth vaping. As a result, several provinces have implemented various versions of a flavour ban, with the Northwest Territories and the federal government now considering following suit.
The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) has repeatedly cautioned governments that flavour bans have proven unintended consequences, such as increased smoking, strengthened black-markets and small business closures. Tobacco control and addictions experts have echoed this sentiment, through calls for a more balanced regulatory approach that appropriately balances the lives of adult smokers with youth protection.
“We often use the term unintended consequences to describe the negative effects of flavour bans, but after many years of advocacy and replicated research, these consequences are known. It would be more apt to call the consequences what they really are – collateral damage,” said Darryl Tempest, Government Relations Counsel to the CVA Board.
“The conversation around these bans has been so focused on if they are justified, that no one seems to be asking if they even work. Governments continue to cite Nova Scotia as a model for the [flavour] ban, but Nova Scotia has yet to produce any data on youth vaping rates following the ban,” said Tempest.
Nova Scotia’s 2021 financial statements display a dramatic increase in cigarette sales. “Tax revenue was $11.5 million or 5.9 per cent higher than the estimate primarily due to an increase of 5.6 per cent in the consumption of cigarettes.”
Further, an independent firm conducted an in-depth scan of the illicit market operating in Nova Scotia since the flavour ban was enacted over a year ago. The findings were clear, prohibition and ineffective enforcement have made the situation far worse while exposing youth and consumers to unregulated products. The report concluded that the flavour ban did not prevent access as intended and instead pushed vapers back to smoking, while removing the regulatory environment that served to protect youth.
“There is no justification for knowingly pushing vapers back to a product that kills half its users. Proponents of these bans have yet to produce any real world modelling to suggest that flavour bans reduce youth experimentation without harming adult smokers,” concluded Tempest.