Stopping youth access to vaping is paramount, but beware of the unintended consequences of banning flavours
25 novembre 2019
Stopping youth access to vaping is paramount, but beware of the unintended consequences of banning flavours

HAMILTON, ON, Nov. 21, 2019 - The CVA has been vigorously advocating for over a year now with provincial health authorities across Canada on the most effective ways to reduce and eliminate youth access to vaping products. As has been emphasized by many clinicians, former smokers and researchers in Canada and abroad, regulated flavours are not the culprit. Rather, it's the flagrant sales, promotion and marketing of these products in non-adult restricted retail outlets and spaces, as well as irresponsibly high levels of nicotine in certain pod systems that are influencing under-age use.

The proposed "Act to Amend the Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Device Sales and Access Act," is a private member's bill to eliminate e-nicotine flavours and raise the legal age to 21. If the Act passed as proposed, it could create a potentially greater public health risk by causing an increase in the use of combustible tobacco that claims 45,000 Canadians a year.

The CVA is encouraged that other provinces, such as British Columbia, took positive action to both protect youth and support harm reduction through regulating nicotine levels earlier this month. They set the standard based on the best available evidence and global data. It would be beneficial to avoid having a patchwork of regulations across Canada in the interest of keeping these products out of the hands of Canadian youth.

We know after more than 10 years of monitoring the harm reduction of vaping and access to flavours, that a ban would drive those who have quit smoking to the unregulated and unsafe black market for vaping products, which could contain THC or be laced with vitamin E acetate, or back to combustible tobacco. Either outcome will result in increased consumer risk for lung disease and potentially worse. Increased rates of youth vaping are a direct result of allowing high-nicotine products to be sold en masse, and public brand advertising targeted at youth, increasing the cool factor and exacerbating under-age use.

"This bill will not keep youth out of danger, but instead put former and current smokers lives at risk," said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director and Lead Advocate of The Canadian Vaping Association. "In 2018, new tobacco-financed vape products were introduced in non-age restricted sales channels, such as convenience stores. This coincided with the significant rise in youth vaping. Flavoured e-liquids have been in circulation through age-restricted vape shops for a decade prior to this recent lung illness outbreak in North America, and used by 40 million adults across the world with no reports of lung issues or uptakes in youth use."

It should also be noted that youth vaping is not an issue in Europe where there are thousands of flavour choices. The key to their success has been a cap on nicotine levels at 20 mg/mL (compared to as high as 66 mg/ml in Canada), which leaves sleek closed pod system ineffective and reduces the "buzz" that can influence youth. The shared goals of Canadians and policy makers should be to eliminate combustible tobacco use forever and banning flavours will move us in the opposite direction.

The CVA welcomes a meeting with MLA Cory Deagle, to discuss the potential consequences of his bill. As the Canada's national vaping advocacy organization - with no ties to tobacco companies - we can share what we have learned over the past five years, including:

  1. Display and promotion in retail environments should be restricted to age of majority stores

  2. National and brand specific advertising should be prohibited

  3. It must be mandated that e-commerce and online sales be delivered via a dual age verification platform

  4. Nicotine levels should be capped at 20 mg/mL to combat youth uptake

  5. All vape product sales, including flavoured vape products, should be limited to adult only access vape shops to ensure the necessary education is provided

  6. Flavoured vape products are crucial to the conversation and conversion of adult smokers

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 300 retail and online vaping businesses in Canada. Our membership does not include 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 further information: Darryl Tempest, Executive Director, 647-274-1867, [email protected]

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