The Canadian Vaping Association urges New Brunswick to preserve adult access to flavoured vape products
Beamsville, ON, May 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- An opposition bill that would ban flavoured vape products has passed second reading with unanimous support in the New Brunswick Legislature. Health Minister Dorothy Shephard has said that the Progressive Conservatives plan to support the bill through committee. The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) has previously cautioned New Brunswick that banning flavours will increase smoking rates and urges the Government of New Brunswick to change course before it is too late.
Recently, vapour advocates launched a campaign to save flavours. Over 90,000 emails have been sent nationally by vapers and harm reduction supporters to Members of Parliament. While the campaign is a federal initiative, it highlights the importance of flavours for harm reduction. Tens of thousands of Canadian have now told the government that they need flavours to remain smoke-free.
Historically, flavour bans have had little impact on youth use and have resulted in increased smoking rates among adults. Recent data from San Francisco shows that the same is true for youth. Following a flavour ban, San Francisco had an increase in youth smoking rates. Of course, youth and non-smokers should not vape, but good policy balances youth protection with harm reduction.
“Some governments view Nova Scotia as a leader in youth protection, but Nova Scotia is an example of well intentioned but failed policy. Following Nova Scotia’s flavour ban, the Atlantic Convenience Store Association said they experienced an unprecedented increase in cigarettes sales and urged regulators to reconsider the ban. Additionally, Nova Scotia has not produced any data to suggest that the ban had any effect on youth vaping rates. Nova Scotia failed to protect youth and has jeopardized the health of thousands of adults. No government should seek to emulate Nova Scotia’s failure,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA.
Moreover, flavour bans benefit big tobacco by wiping out the age-restricted specialty vape shops sending ex-smokers back to combustible tobacco. With specialty vape shops closed, all vaping related sales will be driven through the convenience and gas station channels where tobacco companies have financial influence over retailers. This policy is a win-win for Big Tobacco, because vapers either revert to smoking or adopt the only remaining Big Tobacco owned products.
There is still time for New Brunswick to follow the science and support vaping for adult harm reduction. Increased education, consistent enforcement and restricting flavoured products to age-restricted specialty stores is a more effective pathway that balances youth protection with adult harm reduction.