Misinformation spread by health officials reveals their bias against vaping once again
January 22nd 2020 12:00pm
Misinformation spread by health officials reveals their bias against vaping once again

Toronto, ON – January 22, 2020 - The members of the Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) has been at the forefront of harm reduction for over a decade, supporting adult Canadian smokers transitioning from deadly combustible tobacco. The vaping industry continues to call on health authorities and members of the medical field to report evidence-based facts to Canadians regarding vaping and the unprecedented harm reduction opportunity we have as a country, to save the lives of 45,000 Canadian smokers per year. 

Last week Ottawa hosted its 12th annual conference on Smoking Cessation Through State-of-the-art Clinical Approaches. While vaping industry experts were not invited to participate, the conference did highlight a series of presenters, including Dr. Stanton Glantz as the keynote speaker. The Ottawa Sun reported that Dr. Glantz made a series of statements including: 

- It is a myth that e-cigarettes are helping people quit smoking. Dr. Glantz stated that there is evidence that vaping products are helpful as a part of smoking cessation programs, but research looking at people outside of supervised programs suggests these products can make it harder to quit smoking. 

- Although advocates tout vaping as a solution to smoking, Dr. Glantz said research showed that, for every adult who quit smoking using e-cigarettes, 80 kids started vaping. 

“These are exactly the types of statements that need to be addressed in these forums and with facts and not personal bias or agendas. It is essential we look to Action on Smoking and Health, which has been researching evidence-based data on vaping since 2012. They reported the number of vapers in the UK has increased from 700,000 in 2012 to 3.6 million in 2019 and, of these, 54% had given up smoking” says Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA. “There are an estimated 900,000 adult vapours in Canada, thus based on the 54% success rate for those that have quit smoking using these products, Dr. Glantz is suggesting that 38,880,000 children are vaping in a nation that has under 37,000,000 people?” Tempest goes on to say “Even if we apply the more conservative findings in the New England Journal of Medicine, which state that vaping has an 18% success rate compared to the 10% success rate for those who quit smoking with other NRT products, the statement made by Dr. Glantz would still suggest that there are 12,960,000 youth vaping meanwhile there are only 4,146,397 children aged 10 – 19 in Canada. No matter how you look at this, the fact is that vaping is at a minimum twice as effective in assisting smokers to quit than any other NRT product and that the bias and misinformation spread by health advocates and the medical community puts public health at risk. The more horrifying fact is that on Monday while the conference chair, Dr. Pipe, made jokes on his Twitter feed as people were debunking these ridiculous statements, 100 people died in Canada due to smoking-related illness.” 

Vaping plays such a critical role in the reduction of harm from smoking, specifically in reducing the negative health impacts to Canadian smokers, the costs of smoking-related disease to the health care system and the social impact of smoking on all Canadians. The vaping industry experts need to have a voice and we call on Government to engage in real conversations to build awareness surrounding vaping products and to regulate them in an effective way to promote harm reduction, which has been so effective in the United Kingdom. 

Know the Facts

Are lung illnesses in the United States related to nicotine e-liquid? No – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed THC vape devices laced with vitamin E acetate as the culprit behind the EVALI outbreak.

Is vaping nicotine e-liquid less harmful than smoking? Yes – The best available research is based on the findings of the Royal College of Physicians that have concluded that vaping nicotine e-liquid is at least 95% less harmful than combustible tobacco. 

Are flavours the driver of youth uptake? No - The 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA, shows that flavours are definitely not the main reason that youth try vaping; rather curiosity has been found to be the leading driver. Among the teens who were surveyed, 56.1% listed curiosity as a reason they tried vaping products, which is more than double the next most popular reason, “friend or family member used them” (23.9%). 

What is attracting youth to these products? Nicotine levels - Between 2017 and 2018 current youth vapers (reported to have vaped in the last 30 days) increased by 74% in Canada and 46% in the US, compared to 2% in the UK where nicotine levels are capped at 20 mg/ml (vs. the 66 mg/ml nicotine cap in Canada). Note that in the UK, where youth vaping rates are much lower, there are no restrictions whatsoever on flavours. This is direct evidence that the high nicotine levels, not flavours, are responsible for attracting youth. 

How do we address youth uptake while allowing adult smokers to make informed decisions and protect themselves from black market products? 

CVA Policy Recommendations: 

• All vaping product sales, including flavoured e-liquids, limited to adult-only access retail environments. 

• Sophisticated age verification technology is mandatory in all adult-only vape shops for in-store and online purchases. 

• Nicotine levels capped at 20 mg/ml to combat youth uptake. 

• Mandate that e-commerce and online sales be delivered via a dual age verification platform. • Display and promotion in retail environments restricted to age of majority stores. 

• National and brand-specific advertising prohibited. • Close Canadian borders to unregulated black-market vaping products and ingredients. Together these policy recommendations are designed to effectively and significantly reduce both youth uptake of vaping and smoking rates for the betterment of all Canadians. 

About the Canadian Vaping Association 

The Canadian Vaping Association (canadianvapingassociation.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 manufacturing, retail and online vaping businesses in Canada and has no tobacco companies, nor their affiliates, as part of their membership. 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 the 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 


[email protected]

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