WINDSOR, ONT. — Flavoured e-cigarette products could soon be banned in Canada following a proposal put forward by Health Canada.
It’s an attempt to reduce the appeal to youth, but local vaping advocates disagree.
“Vaping saves lives,” that’s the message from the Rights4Vapers group.
“We are here to push back, stand up and stand against the flavour ban that Canada has proposed,” says Rights4Vapers spokesperson Maria Papaionnoy Duic.
Health Canada announced in June it is looking to implement restrictions on vaping flavours, prompting the group Rights4Vapers to head out on a tour of Ontario with a stop in Windsor Thursday.
“Vaping is part of the harm reduction spectrum,” says Papaionnoy Duic.
“We’ve already made changes in this industry, to bring the nicotine level down, to take the mass appeal off the packaging. I feel we’ve done enough to to really get the point across that this is for adults only,” says Vape Vine manager Ryan Jacques.
Health Canada research has shown flavoured vaping products are highly appealing to youth, recommending a ban to reduce the temptation.
“Fruit flavours that are being used, the online marketing promotions in the industry have been targeted in terms of to be appealing to youth,” says Dr. Brent Friesen, Medical Officer of Health, Tobacco and Cannabis.
Youth are especially susceptible to the negative effects of nicotine including altered brain development
“We as adults love to vape and we need to get rid of cigarettes and as adults sometimes we like the sweeter flavours,” says Jacques. “Finally we have come up with an alternative to get rid of and eradicate the death and destruction that has been caused by cigarettes and to take that away that’s just going to push Canadians that are young, old in between back to that traditional tobacco.”
Jaques also believes that if the flavours are banned, the vaping industry will be gone.
“This is livelihoods, this is peoples jobs, this is peoples lives, this is feeding our families and if the flavours go away, so does the industry,” he explains.
Both sides arguing a ban impacts lives and livelihoods in very different ways.
“Asking Health Canada to do is to pause, remove the moral compass and let’s go back to the science, there are studies, figure out the root cause of why kids are accessing vaping products,” says Papaionnoy Duic.