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]