The Canadian Vaping Association extends a meeting invitation to Nova Scotia’s new cabinet

February 24, 2021 2:28 PM EST

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Beamsville, ON, Feb. 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Tuesday, Premier Iain Rankin and 16 cabinet ministers were sworn in. The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) would like to extend an open invitation to work with industry to repair the destructive vaping legislation implemented by the previous administration.

Nova Scotia’s current legislation prohibits all flavoured vaping products excluding tobacco flavour and further restricts access through an excessive 50 cent per mL vaping product tax. These policies have resulted in a drastic increase in traditional cigarette sales, as confirmed by the Atlantic Convenience Store Association and Abacus Data finding 30% of adult vapers are at risk of returning to smoking. Vaping has conclusively shown to be less harmful than smoking, and as such, vaping regulation must balance adult smokers’ constitutional right to life, liberty, and the security of the person with youth protection. In acting to protect youth, Nova Scotia has overcorrected to the detriment of public health.

Premier Rankin’s campaign promised to address addiction and mental health. Harm reduction is a core component for modern addictions treatment. Harm reduction strategies involve acknowledging that drug use is an unavoidable part of society and understanding that some methods of consumption are less harmful than others. While the CVA shares Canada’s goal of a smoke-free society, the current reality is that cigarette use is still prevalent within Canada. Vaping has now proven to be the most effective quit aid, with Public Health England stating that vaping is between 59.7% to 74% effective when paired with stop smoking services. Vaping has presented a powerful tool to reduce smoking prevalence and the harms caused by combustible tobacco. 

Moreover, science continues to show flavours are the key component for adult adoption and cessation success. A recent study by Yale researchers found that smokers who transitioned to vaping using a flavoured product were 2.5 times more likely to be successful quitting. The prohibition on flavoured products has greatly limited vaping’s efficacy and adoption, ultimately harming public health.

Additionally, the economic cost should be of concern to Minister Kousoulis, as the flavour ban has resulted in the closure of over 85% of Nova Scotia’s specialty vape retailers, the provinces only age-restricted access point. The flavour ban has caused small business closures, job losses and broken lease agreements. The loss of flavours and the significant tax model have also strengthened illicit channels, bypassing the tax, thus limiting both HST and VPT revenue streams for the province. Most significantly, tobacco costs Nova Scotia’s health care system $168 million annually in direct costs. Supporting vaping as a harm reduction tool will drastically reduce this burden on the health care system.

“The CVA has developed solutions to balancing youth use with adult harm reduction that have been successful within Ontario and British Columbia. We continue to work to seek solutions to prevent use with youth and never smokers. The CVA asks for the opportunity to meet with the new administration to discuss solutions and present the science,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA.

Darryl Tempest
The Canadian Vaping Association
Source: The Canadian Vaping Association

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