The federal government alongside some provincial governments have announced their intentions to restrict vaping once more with bans on e-liquid that aren’t tobacco flavored. This means that any sort of flavor that doesn’t fall into this category will be no longer allowed to be sold. In addition, they are planning a 70% reduction of the nicotine cap to only 20mg per mL. Unfortunately the likely outcome of either restriction will cause a large number of ex-smokers who use vaping as a harm-reduction tool to return to a much more toxic combustible tobacco product. This may also contribute to a decrease in the number of current smokers who would otherwise attempt and likely succeed at pivoting to a far less harmful alternative source of nicotine.
This change will massively impact the vaping industry as a whole, as well as drastically reduce access to this harm-reduction tool for adults who have not had success with other available options. The ability to choose other flavors over tobacco flavors is primarily how vapers can tailor their experience to their own specific needs – which allows for a much smoother transition period.
If you or someone you know has had a positive experience using flavored e-liquid, please visit www.tobaccokills.ca for more information on what you can do to help prevent this from happening.
Toronto, ON – December 17, 2019 – After almost six months of growing panic concerning the cause of the lung illness, or EVALI, that swept the U.S. and parts of Canada, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed on December 6 that nicotine-based “e-cigarettes” have not been linked to a single vaping-related illness. In fact, as has been widely suggested by a diversity of clinical experts, the true source of this illness is illicit cannabis (THC) vaping products containing vitamin E acetate.
The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) has steadfastly maintained over the course of this outbreak that all of these lung illnesses are related to illicit cannabis vaping products containing vitamin E acetate and not e-liquid nicotine bought in age-restricted vaping shops. Yet, until this final confirmation from the CDC, public health advocates and the media have seldom given this hypothesis (and subsequent clinical findings) much credit or consideration, instead irresponsibly grouping all vaping products — be they black market, THC, THC with vitamin E acetate or regulated e-nicotine — under the single classification of “vaping and e-cigarettes.”
“This update frankly comes too late in the cycle of this tragic EVALI episode, both for the victims and the untold number of reforming smokers who found salvation through e-nicotine vaping, only to be compelled back to combustible tobacco out of false fears. It does feel like we are finally vindicated, now that it is widely and conclusively established that these lung illnesses were the result of black market cannabis vaping products laced with vitamin E acetate. For the past few months, it has felt like our statements about what was – and wasn’t – at the root of the outbreak fell mostly on deaf ears,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the Canadian Vaping Association. “This announcement from the CDC further demonstrates the critical importance in classifying the e-cigarette category accurately and specifically to clearly differentiate nicotine, water-soluble vaping products from oil-soluble cannabis vaping products containing THC.”
The CDC’s announcement identified over 150 THC-containing vape products attributed with the lung illness, but not a single nicotine-based vaping product was included in this list. This can be directly attributed to the regulations within the nicotine-based vaping industry that ensures products sold in legal vape shops are exposed to the most stringent regulations to ensure safe, quality ingredients.
This distinction between vaping products should also have been made crystal clear in the early days of the mysterious outbreak to avoid an escalation, according to public health experts like Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University. Dr. Siegel has been very critical of the agency’s mishandling of the associated messaging campaign, calling its public warnings to avoid all vapour products “intentionally vague.” Dr. Siegel has stated previously that the Centers for Disease Control’s anti-vaping prejudice—and a growing bias against the use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation—is putting public health at risk.
“Our industry, which is not affiliated with tobacco-owned vaping brands, has greatly suffered from this misclassification and the wrongful association of our industry with illicit THC-based vaping products,” said Tempest. “Now that the reality of the source of the outbreak has been confirmed, we are focused on educating Canadians on the truth of these products and their components. Nicotine-based vapes remain a far less harmful alternative for tobacco smokers and Canadians need to know that products sold in legal vape shops have gone through a regulated process that ensures safety and adherence to ingredient labelling requirements.”
About the Canadian Vaping Association The Canadian Vaping Association (thecva.org) 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 300 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 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.
For more information, please contact: Darryl Tempest, Executive Director 647-274-1867 [email protected]
TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2019 – The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) is deeply disturbed by the sudden announcement by the Nova Scotia Government to ban the sale of flavoured vapes and e-liquid products by April 1, 2020. The CVA feels this is a rash and presumptuous decision that will have potentially deadly consequences for the thousands of smokers and reformed smokers in desperate need of an effective harm reduction option.
Youth access to vaping is a national problem that must be addressed sensibly, without driving adult smokers back to combustible tobacco or to black market products. If this ban is ultimately implemented in the Spring of 2020, these equally dangerous outcomes will almost certainly be the result. We cannot forget that tobacco is the number one killer in Canada and tainted vitamin E acetate black market vapes have been identified by researchers as the primary cause of the recent pulmonary lung illness outbreak in the U.S. and Canada.
According to the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. (or FDA), of the 689 samples connected to patients who have undergone some level of pulmonary lung illness testing, 445 samples were found to contain THC and of those, 48 per cent contained vitamin E acetate as a diluent and another 24 percent contained another diluent such as medium chain triglycerides. Vitamin E acetate is already banned under Health Canada’s Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA). These facts should also make health authorities in Nova Scotia very concerned.
Moreover, vaping brands financed and owned by tobacco companies, which are sold and marketed irresponsibly in youth accessible convenience stores across Canada and not affiliated with the CVA, carry nicotine levels upwards of 59 mg/ml. That is simply far too high for any user, let alone under-age youth and non-smokers and is one of the core culprits in the youth uptake problem. The CVA is advocating for a limit on nicotine e-liquids of 20 mg/ml and sales of these products confined to specialty, age restricted vaping shops.
“Smokers and smokers trying to quit are being utterly ignored in this period of panic. We have thousands of customers that rely on the flavour of their vaping products to keep them away from combustible tobacco,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the Canadian Vaping Association. “Flavoured products available in adult-only, specialty vape shops offer smokers looking to transition away from cigarettes, or quit altogether, a less harmful option with nicotine thresholds of 20 mg/ml or less. This we know without a shadow of a doubt and these are the risks that governments must weigh and consider before they fast track regulations on the fly.”
Tempest adds, “We need consultations based on facts and evidence. We at the CVA have been showing for many months now the real and most obvious cause for the rise in youth vaping, and it has fundamentally not been flavours. It was the egregious proliferation of tobacco-financed and owned vaping products in thousands of non-age restricted convenience stores and gas stations in 2018 across Nova Scotia – and across Canada – with irresponsible levels of nicotine that coincided with a spike in youth adoptions rates. Prior to this development, youth uptake was relatively flat for almost a decade, despite the availability of thousands of flavours in independently owned age-restricted vape shops.”
The Canadian Vaping Association urges the Nova Scotia government to follow the example of their provincial counterparts in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec by ensuring that new regulations and standards, which the CVA welcomes, are based on the best available global evidence, as well as robust consultation with a diversity of stakeholders. The Association, which has no affiliation to tobacco or tobacco-owned vaping brands, has been working closely with Health Canada and provincial health authorities to develop public policy and regulatory processes that address the spike in youth uptake, including limiting the sale of vape products to adult-only specialty vape shops. We now welcome the opportunity to consult and collaborate with the Nova Scotia Government to ensure that we avoid another public health crisis by driving a whole new cohort of smokers and reformed smokers back to combustible tobacco or the dangerous black market.
About the Canadian Vaping Association
The Canadian Vaping Association (thecva.org) 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 300 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 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.
SOURCE Canadian Vaping Association
For further information: Darryl Tempest, Executive Director, 647-274-1867, [email protected]
Nova Scotia says it will become the first province to make it illegal to sell any kind of flavoured e-cigarettes and juices, announcing Thursday a ban that will come into force on April 1.
The province has worked hard to become a smoke-free culture and doesn’t want to lose ground as the number of people who are vaping continues to grow, said Health Minister Randy Delorey.
“This is about reducing the rates,” he said. “What we’ve seen in the last couple of years since e-cigarettes have become widely available in Canada and indeed throughout much of North America is a rapidly growing rate, in particular youth vaping.”
The non-profit group Smoke Free Nova Scotia recently conducted a survey that showed 95 per cent of youth who vape in Nova Scotia said they prefer flavoured juices, and more than 48 per cent said they would quit if flavours were banned.
The only types of e-cigarettes and juice that will be available in Nova Scotia after the ban comes into effect are bland and tobacco.
“This is a good first step and I think we can anticipate a reduction in the number of youth vaping,” said Delorey.
A CBC News investigation discovered many e-cigarette liquids contain harmful chemicals, including a suspected carcinogen banned in food in the U.S. Lab tests showed two chemicals in particular — pulegone, a suspected carcinogen, and benzaldehyde — could endanger human health if vaped at high levels.
The release from the Nova Scotia government said the “full flavour” ban is the first step in addressing youth vaping, and the province plans to roll out a public education campaign in the new year and introduce legislation in the upcoming session to further address vaping.
In May 2018, federal legislation was passed to formally legalize and heavily regulate vaping in Canada. The legislation included regulations banning flavours designed to mimic “confectionery,” cannabis, soft drinks or energy drinks.
Ahmed Milleti, 22, started smoking when he began studying at Dalhousie University four years ago. When it became expensive, he turned to vaping because he felt it wasn’t as bad for him.
Now he likes the flavour, and said he vapes more often when he’s stressed, such as during exam season. Milleti expects he’ll be able to quit when the ban starts, but he worries others addicted to nicotine won’t.
“I think it’s a bad idea because if you ban flavoured nicotine, like vape-juice, people go back to cigarettes,” he said.
The ban is also getting blowback from vaping retailers who say they were not consulted.
Kyle Bitar, who runs Vapor Hub in Halifax, said the ban will be “catastrophic,” and not just for people like himself who have businesses.
“They’re not just harming me. They’re harming the thousands of people we help every month,” he said.
Interest groups including the Canadian Cancer Society, the Lung Association of Nova Scotia and Smoke Free Nova Scotia were on hand for the government’s announcement Thursday.
They all agree putting in a “full flavour” ban is a good first step to curb youth vaping rates, but said far more work needs to be done.
“It’s a decision that we’re really pleased with. This is really kind of taking action that’s concrete today, and then those supportive measures will hopefully come in place in the spring,” said Kelly Cull, director of public policy with the Canadian Cancer Society in Atlantic Canada.
Cull still wants the province to raise the minimum age to buy vaping products to 21 from 19, and rules established so such products can only sold at adult-only venues. Banning online sales and capping nicotine levels in the products would also help, she said.
Both the Lung Association and Smoke Free Nova Scotia said increasing the taxes on e-cigarettes and other vaping products should also be considered.
“We need to prevent youth from finding a route towards tobacco smoking, so by implementing such a policy, we’re effectively reducing youth vaping rates and thus the percentage of youth who are going to smoke in this province,” said Mohammed Al-Hamdani, executive director of Smoke Free Nova Scotia.
Some are skeptical the ban will do anything to deter teens from vaping. Mike Habib said he only sells products to adults at his convenience store and the market has been growing. He said often young people don’t even try to purchase from him.
“The product is available online. That’s mainly where the industry is headed,” he said. “When you order online, where is the supervision? [Young people] can get somebody’s ID and put it in but there’s nobody checking.”
University student Jad Ghiz called the ban a “Band-Aid.” He has never smoked cigarettes but when he was underage, he and his friends would always order products online.
He doubts the ban will discourage teens, though he hopes it will be motivation for him to finally kick the habit.
“That’s one of my resolutions, to slow down at least. But maybe it’ll help,” he said.