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OPEN LETTER

 

IS VAPING REALLY THAT BAD?

Media inciting panic in the industry is misdirected, puts thousands of jobs at risk

 

 

 

SAMUEL TAM, PRESIDENT, CANADIAN VAPING ASSN

SUBMITTED PHOTOS

PUBLISHED THURSDAY, 9

 

 

 

e share the deep concerns of Canadians about the recent cases of lung illnesses due to black market, illicit THC (cannabis) products.

 

The young age of many of the patients is particularly distressing. Itís natural in times like this for panic to set in, but that is also why we have to focus on the facts and address the collective anxiety around vaping.
 

To parents, guardians and educators who are concerned about the rise in youth use of vapes: We share your concerns. Since 2018, teens have more access than ever before - in convenience stores, gas stations and music and sporting events. This needs to stop immediately.

 

We have been calling on federal and provincial health authorities to limit the sale and promotion of regulated vaping products to age-restricted retail environments only.

 

The recent decision by Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott to ban the promotion of vaping products across convenience stores is an effective approach to limiting youth uptake.

 

Samuel Tam, president, Canadian Vaping Association

 

We support this decision, as well as the Ministerís order requiring public hospitals to provide statistical information on vaping-related pulmonary diseases to the medical officer of health. This is a step in the right direction to ensure vaping products are only available in specialty vape shops, which are subject to the most robust vaping regulations in the country.
 

To the 4.9 million current Canadian smokersi and the hundreds of thousands who have quit thanks to nicotine e-liquid vapes: You are the reason we got into this business in the first place. We know youíre worried that this unparalleled harm reduction method could be taken away from you.

 

We will work tirelessly to ensure you continue to have this less harmful, tested lifeline available to you.
 

To governments and government agencies who are committed to conducting an evidence-based review of the regulatory environment in your respective regions: We support you and look forward to working with you in the creation of evidence-based legislation and regulation for vaping products.
 

Committed to public health
Our organization was created in 2014 as the original voice for the burgeoning Canadian vaping industry. Every one of our 300-strong membership has put its products through rigorous testing. The CVA is Canadaís only national advocacy organization representing the industry with no tobacco companies as part of our membership, nor do we receive any fees from tobacco companies. We are not looking to create vapers. We want to offer a harm reduction alternative to help convert adult smokers.
 

Vaping products have been wrongly lumped into one category: whatís inside them really matters.

 

The Centers for Disease Control has confirmed a strong correlation between the patients with mysterious lung illnesses in the US, and tainted, illicit THC (cannabis) vaping products purchased in the black market Ė not regulated nicotine e-liquid products. Data has also shown that flavours, which have been around for well over a decade, are not the contributing factor to youth adoption rates Ė it has been the irresponsible marketing, promotion and accessibility of certain vape brands in non-age restricted businesses that has created this crisis. In fact, the sale of flavours in Canada is limited by the labeling laws under the Tobacco and Vaping Product Act, enacted in May 2018.
 

Pro-regulation
We need to increase regulation of vaping products for everyone. A ban on flavours and vaping products could push adults who need the nicotine to the black market, or back to combustible tobacco, which is the leading cause of preventable death in Canada.
 

Current regulations in Canada restrict the marketing of flavours that can be offered to basic options such as mint, with no ability to market novelty confectionery-associated flavours.

 

Any flavours outside of this limited scope are coming from outside the country, or from the black market.
 

Anti-mass advertising
Like any industry association, our mission is to advocate for our members. Our advertising and products do not reach youth, and we want to keep it that way. Since the inception of legal vape shops and access to products, advertising and promotional content has been limited to age-restricted areas only. It is only recently, through companies that donít adhere to the stringent age restrictive measures we take, that advertising and product has entered the mainstream market, reaching all ages.

 

The CVA is not associated with any brands that market their products in the plain sight of youth or non-smokers.

 

The CVA remains committed to working with Health Canada and regional health authorities to update regulations to restrict youth access to the sales and promotion of vape products.
 

We must get to the bottom of the current outbreak of lung illnesses, which have primarily been associated with Illicit, black market cannabis products rather than nicotine vapor products, and continue to fight for Canadian adultsí right to an unparalleled harm reduction technology.

 

Read statistics from Health Canada.

 

 


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