In Canada it is a real fight of several weeks to defend the vape which has just begun! In a three-week trial that begins Monday, the Quebec and Canadian associations of vaping will try to invalidate several articles of the Quebec law on the fight against smoking.
Since the adoption of this law in 2015, all products related to the electronic cigarette are considered as tobacco products. The merchants had to frost their windows, stop tasting the products in the shop and put an end to the promotion and sale on the Internet. The Association québécoise des vapoteries (AQV) says that these provisions have hurt many businesses.
« Many of our members, since the passage of the law, went bankrupt, because it really reduced the rate of people coming into the stores »Deplores Alexandre Painchaud, Vice President of AQV and owner of E-Vap stores.
Like his colleagues, Alexandre Painchaud would like to promote his products as a good way to stop smoking or reduce the amount of inhaled toxic substances. " The vaping product was considered a cure for tobacco, [the provincial government] put the cure with the poison ", Denounces the entrepreneur.
The associations argue that Health Canada now recognizes that smokers can reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals by replacing [the] cigarettes with a vaping product ". The federal government passed its own law on tobacco and vaping products last May. Overall, it is more permissive than Quebec law, especially in terms of promotion. " We had a thriving Internet industry, we are one of the only provinces where we do not have the right to sell our products on the Internet. Says Alexandre Painchaud.
In the lawsuit filed against the Quebec government, the AQV argues that the Quebec law " does not support the legitimate objective of reducing [...] smoking, but it is damaging by the general prohibition it imposes on [...] public health ».
DEFENSE PROMOTES FRAGILITY OF YOUTH IN VAPE!
On the defense side, government prosecutors argue that the law was passed to prevent young people or non-smokers from using e-cigarettes when they had never smoked before. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently labeled rising smoking habits among young people as genuine " epidemic ».
Although there is less of a tendency for young Canadians to vape in Canada than in the United States, the Quebec government says it has adopted the law on the basis of the precautionary principle. Prosecutors in the case also question the motivations of the vaping associations and their arguments related to public health.
« The Quebec Association of Vape Shops does not represent the rights of smokers, but rather the rights of traders ", Argues the documents filed in the courthouse of Quebec. The office of the new Minister of Health, Danielle McCann, did not wish to comment on the file, given the judicial process that is beginning.
As the trial approaches, the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control hopes that the Quebec law will withstand the test of the courts. " It has struck a good balance between allowing access to these products while constraining and framing the promotion. ", slice Flory Doucas, co-director of the Coalition.
As for the virtues of e-cigarettes to quit smoking, Flory Doucas insists that manufacturers only have to go through Health Canada's registration process, as nicotine patch manufacturers have done.
« Nothing prevents the manufacturers of vaping products from doing the same thing. They want to be able to make all kinds of health claims without providing the evidence. »
The Coalition points out that several exemptions have also been granted to the vaping industry. For example, the flavors now banned for tobacco are still allowed and, most importantly, products related to electronic cigarettes are not subject to a surcharge.
The trial is taking place at the 3 Quebec City Courthouse at 21 December.
source : Ici.radio-canada.ca/