Following up on the recommendations made in the report of the National Director of Public Health published this morning and the statement by the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé to implement several bans and restrictions to better regulate vaping, the Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) shows his concern through a press release.
THE RECOMMENDATIONS WOULD BENEFIT CIGARETTIERS!
Following the recommendations made in the report of the National Director of Public Health published this morning, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, declared his intention to implement several bans and restrictions to better regulate vaping .
The CVA has always been in favor of youth protection measures and has worked with many governments to create a regulatory framework that balances child protection and access to adults. While our organization agrees with some of the recommendations put forward, others will have the unintended consequence of pushing ex-smokers to smoke and deterring a number of current smokers from switching to a much less harmful product.
Although the CVA commends Minister Dubé for his initiatives to protect young people, an effective policy does not completely ban these products, but rather limits their sale to specialty stores reserved for adults 18 years of age and over and who, of the even confessed by the Government of Quebec, meet high compliance standards in terms of age verification and denial of access to minors.
There is significant data suggesting that high levels of nicotine are the main driver of consumption among young people. However, as has been demonstrated in Ontario and British Columbia, the problem is not just high levels of nicotine, but unrestricted access to these products. There are a number of adult smokers who use products with high nicotine content to avoid relapse into combustible tobacco. An effective policy does not completely ban these products but rather restricts the sale to specialty stores whose access is limited to 18 years and over. In doing so, access points for young people are eliminated.
The CVA fully agrees to ban the opening of new points of sale within 250 meters of a school. This is an appropriate measure to prevent adult students from making a purchase for their underage peers. Additionally, we agree with the warnings, health risks, and unattractive packaging, but these recommendations are already addressed by the Federal Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA). The TVPA requires vaping products sold in Canada to contain specific health warnings, addiction statements, and prohibits packaging that may be attractive to young people. Indeed, all regulated e-liquids currently available on the Canadian market are not attractive to young people.
It is a common mistake that flavors in vaping products contribute to vaping among young people. This argument has been discredited by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the CDC report “Tobacco Product Use and Associated Factors Among Middle and Highschool Students", 77,7% of young people admitted that they vaped for reasons other than the availability of flavors of" mint, candy, fruit or chocolate. " The most common reason for use among young people was "I was curious".
In addition, the study "Associations of Flavored e-Cigarette Uptake With Subsequent Smoking Initiation and CessationConducted by Yale researchers found that adults who started vaping non-smoking flavored e-cigarettes were more likely to quit smoking than those who vape tobacco flavored. Also according to the authors of this study, more research is needed to establish the relationship between flavors in vaping products and smoking to guide related policies. The researchers went on to say, “While the proposed flavor bans are well intentioned, they have disastrous results. Vaping flavor legislation must take into account the facts of smoking cessation and harm reduction, and we urge lawmakers against the widespread application of such bans. ”
To fully understand the public health damage that a blanket flavor ban can do, we need only look to Nova Scotia. Immediately after the ban on flavors in vaping products went into effect, cigarette sales experienced an unprecedented increase. As a result, the president of the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association issued a statement urging Nova Scotia to reconsider this ban, given the dramatic surge in cigarette sales. Additionally, an Abacus Data survey found that nearly 30% of adult vapers are at risk of reverting to combustible tobacco.
Given Minister Dubé's intention to implement a tax specific to vaping, the CVA recalls that taxing a harm reduction product is counterproductive and harms public health. Any tax specific to vaping products would have the same disastrous impact on smoking rates as a flavor ban. In all cases where taxation has been introduced, smoking rates have increased accordingly. As more and more global jurisdictions implement a tax on vaping products, there is growing evidence that such a tax is harmful to public health.
For example, Minnesota did a study called "The impact of E-cig taxes on smoking rates: Evidence from MinnesotaWhich revealed that taxation of vaping products would lead to an 8,1% increase in tobacco use and a 1,4% decrease in smoking cessation. She also found that if vaping products had not been taxed, an additional 32,400 adults would have quit smoking.
In addition, the National Bureau of Economic Research study also concluded that taxation of vaping products increases smoking rates. “While cigarette taxes reduce cigarette consumption and e-cigarette taxes reduce e-cigarette use, they also have important interactions with each other. Electronic cigarettes and cigarettes are economical substitutes. So if you increase taxes on one product, you increase use of the other, ”said Michael Pesko, health economist and assistant professor at Georgia State University.
Pesko and other researchers drew on sales data from 35,000 retailers across the country over a period of seven years and concluded that for every 10% increase in the prices of vaping products, the sales of those same products fall by 26%. This taxation of vaping products resulted in an 11% increase in traditional cigarette sales, the researchers concluded. “We estimate that for every vaping cartridge that is no longer purchased due to a tax on vaping products, an additional 6.2 packs of cigarettes are purchased instead,” Pesko said. “The public health impact of e-cigarette taxes in this case is likely negative. "
The CVA respects the mission of the Government of Quebec, which is to protect young people from nicotine experimentation and addiction. However, it is essential that the Government of Quebec understand that the CVA shares this objective. Independent vaping companies were created to solve the problem created by tobacco. While often mistakenly viewed as an extension of tobacco, the sole focus of our industry is to help adult smokers reduce their harms.
As it stands, the recommendations proposed by Minister Dubé would benefit tobacco companies and harm adult smokers.
“Nova Scotia data demonstrates the province's inability to regulate in the interest of public health. As a result, Nova Scotia has failed its citizens. We urge Quebec not to follow this disastrous path. The CVA calls on the government to ensure that the industry is included in the regulatory process. Collectively, we can ensure that policies are effective and science-based, ”said John Xydous, CVA Regional Director.