The Northwest Territories' commitment to harm reduction is lost with the proposed vape flavour ban
Beamsville, ON, Jan. 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Government of the Northwest Territories had an open consultation regarding the proposed flavour restrictions, that if pursued will be implemented through amendments to the Tobacco and Vaping Products Control Act. In the Canadian Vaping Association’s (CVA) submission filed during the consultation period, the CVA details its opposition to restricting flavoured vaping products and provides evidence of the negative outcomes of flavour bans.
The Northwest Territories have among the highest smoking rates in Canada. As of 2018, 33% of the population age 15 and older were daily or occasional smokers. Given Public Health England has stated that vaping is between 59.7% and 74% effective for quitting smoking when paired with local stop smoking support, it is surprising that the Northwest Territories is considering further restrictions rather than incorporating vaping into their tobacco control strategy.
“It is ironic that the consultation period coincided with National Non-Smoking Week. While harm reduction advocates were encouraging people to quit smoking, the Northwest Territories was considering effectively banning the most effective method to reduce smoking rates. The CVA implores the Government of the Northwest Territories to review the evidence on vaping’s efficacy and the importance of flavours. During a consumer campaign, 90,000 Canadians emailed their Member of Parliament to express the critical role that flavours played in their transition from smoking,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA.
In addition to incredibly high youth smoking rates, the Northwest Territories has the highest rate of youth hospitalizations caused by substance use, at a rate 5 times the national average. Alcohol, which is known to cause cancer, was the main cause of these hospitalizations followed by cannabis use. The Northwest Territories’ 2018 Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey found that 69% of youth aged 15 and older self identified as a current drinker.
“Of course, youth and non-smokers shouldn’t vape, but prevention should be through a strategy of education and enforcement. There is no evidence that banning flavours reduces youth vaping, but there is mounting evidence that flavour bans increase smoking rates. The Northwest Territories has a serious problem with youth alcohol consumption, and yet there is no proposal to ban flavoured alcohol,” said Tempest.
Flavoured vape products have proven to be an effective tool for quitting smoking, but removing flavours reduces their appeal and lessens adoption. Vaping prevalence has a direct correlation to rapid declines in smoking rates; if properly supported, vaping could have a profound effect in regions like the Northwest Territories where smoking rates remain high.
About the Canadian Vaping Association: The Canadian Vaping Association is a registered national, not-for-profit organization, established as the voice for the burgeoning Canadian vaping industry. Founded in 2014, the CVA represents over 200 retail and online vaping businesses in Canada, not including tobacco companies or affiliates. The association is the primary liaison with the federal and provincial governments on all legislative and regulatory issues related to the industry. The primary goal of the CVA is to ensure that government regulation is reasonable and practical, through the strategy of professional proactive communication and education supplied bilingually to health officers, media, and elected officials.