The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) has vowed to fight any regulations for the vaping industry that it views as onerous. In a press release, the CVA states that the organization has been a consistent advocate for strong youth protection measures and that a balance of youth prevention with allowing adult access to harm reduction products is necessary.
“While the CVA has a history of advocating for reasonable measures to protect youth, policy that violates the right to integrity and personal security as well as freedom of expression will be challenged through the proper legal channels,” said Darryl Tempest, executive director of the CVA. “Science supports vaping as harm reduction and draconian measures have previously been found to be unconstitutional by the Superior Court, which heard the industry’s arguments against Bill 44. Our preference will always be to work with regulators to implement effective policy, however where regulators choose to ignore the data, the industry will challenge policy that is detrimental to public health.”
Provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia have taken adult harm reduction into consideration and implemented equitable policy. Yet, provinces such as Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have failed to follow the science and instead have jeopardized the health of thousands of smokers, according to the release.
The Canadian Constitution Foundation found that banning flavored vaping products or restricting nicotine content “may violate s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which safeguards the right to life, liberty and the security of the person, because the nicotine ceiling and flavour restriction may potentially make vaping products a less attractive or effective quit-aid for smokers.”
The CVA states that it will continue to provide regulators with the science supporting flavors are the driver for adoption and the key to cessation success. “Canadian’s have a constitutional right to access harm reduction products and reduce the health risks presented by traditional tobacco,” the release states. “Judge Dumais who heard the industry’s case against Bill 44 wrote that while the provisions take into account the well being of non-smokers, it seemed to forget the rest of the population, including smokers trying to quit.”
Despite, the Canadian Constitution Foundation cautioning governments that action such as flavor bans may violate the rights of Canadians, “Nova Scotia proceeded to implement both excessive taxation and a full ban on flavors.” As a result, vape shop owner Bill McEachern has launched a constitutional challenge, that will be heard on January 25th. The CVA has given McEachern its full support and will continue to support all challenges to harmful legislation.
“As a society, we often wrongfully look at addiction as the result of one’s own actions. By viewing nicotine addiction as a choice, smokers are dehumanized and left behind by poor policy,” the release states. “Governments must acknowledge that in Canada all citizens are equal under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Vaping policy must respect the rights of all citizens as the lives of adult smokers quite literally depend on it.”