CVA Position on Flavours
September 10th 2019 8:00am
CVA Position on Flavours

September 10th, 2019 

There has been a lot of discussion within media and the public regarding the banning of vaping e-liquid flavours. However, we at the CVA are of the strong opinion that non-restricted age access is what truly needs to be addressed in order to deal with the issue of youth uptake, as all evidence indicates that this issue is not related to the flavours available. 

Over the past 10 years, the vaping industry has grown significantly and has had thousands of flavour combinations available for consumers throughout this time. The availability of these flavours is a key component in transiting millions of smokers globally to this far less harmful alternative to combustible tobacco. Only in the past year has youth uptake become such a serious problem, resulting primarily from a few big tobacco corporations entering the marketplace and providing thousands of new retail and online purchase points, and nicotine levels 3 to 4 times the strength traditionally available in adult-only access retail vape shops. 

Unfortunately, flavours have been miss-cast as a major source of youth uptake. Over the history of the vaping industry, tens of thousands of flavours have been introduced to the marketplace with little to no impact on youth uptake rates since the inception of the industry. It was only with the mass introduction of non-age restricted retail locations, and the aggressive marketing campaigns associated with the systems sold in these environments, that we have seen any significant impact on youth uptake. These closed pod-based systems are very limited in flavour selection and profiles, thus clearly indicating that the increase in youth uptake is not related to flavouring. Since the spring of 2018, the market has been rife with egregious violations of promotion to the public. Gas stations are heavily utilized with product promotions on pumps and windows, as are convenience stores. Furthermore, these locations often have physical product displays and murals of ads on display right at the point of sale. Our concern here is that these locations are not age-restricted and, in many instances, are a common congregation point for youth. The false premise is that flavours are enticing youth to “experiment” with vaping products, whereas the aggressive promotion of these products in non-adult restricted environments has had a far greater impact. 

These aggressive marketing campaigns, multiple access points without age restrictions, and products that feature high nicotine levels to produce a “nicotine buzz” are the key elements that have caused the significant increase in youth uptake. In order to deal with the issue of youth uptake, we must remove these products from their view, and actively encourage regulations that will make it much more difficult for youth to purchase these products. Three critical concepts must be adopted nationally into regulations to meet these ends: 

1) Remove product display and promotion from the public eye by prohibiting such displays, with exemptions only for age-restricted locations; 

2) Prohibit broad, national, product-specific advertising campaigns in the media (television, radio, print and public venues), again providing exception only for mediums where age-verification is in place; and 

3) Mandating that all online sales (national and international) be subject to Canada Post’s age- verification process. 

For more information on youth uptake or vaping as an alternative for adult smokers, please contact us at [email protected] or visit us at 


Darryl Tempest, Executive Director, CVA

Latest Releases

September 11th 2019
Vaping versus THC Carts