TORONTO, Oct. 25, 2019 /CNW/ - The Ontario Government has announced it will ban the promotion of nicotine vaping products in the very place where most smokers buy their cigarettes - convenience stores - preventing smokers from becoming aware of and transitioning to an option that is recognized by Health Canada and other global health authorities to be less harmful.
After legalizing vaping products as consumer products in May, 2018, Health Canada stated that, "Vaping is less harmful than smoking. Many of the toxic and cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco and the tobacco smoke form when tobacco is burned." Health Canada also refers to vaping as a smoking cessation option, noting that "While evidence is still emerging, some evidence suggests that using e-cigarettes is linked to improved rates of success."
In a 2018 and 2019 review of all of the published scientific literature, survey data and other reports and databases, Public Health England (PHE) concluded that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. Despite these facts, PHE added that thousands of smokers incorrectly believe vaping is as harmful as smoking. Other public health experts have argued that vaping-related illnesses have triggered further consumer uncertainty about vaping products preventing smokers from making the switch, which is even more detrimental to public health.
"To address these misperceptions, and to signal to adult smokers that there are less harmful nicotine alternatives, some form of communication needs to remain where they purchase their cigarettes so they are constantly confronted with alternatives," said Daniel David, president of the Vaping Industry Trade Association.
Health Canada consulted on, and is currently considering, the use of relative risk statements in promotion. Ontario's regulation to eliminate communication on vaping at convenience stores, where most tobacco products are sold, would preclude the use of such statements and is premature.
VITA President Daniel David: "The vaping industry's voice has not been heard on this important issue. We strongly support measures that will restrict youth access, however this must be balanced to ensure that adult smokers still have access to these products. We want to be solution-focused and work with governments at all levels and are disappointed by the Ontario Government's knee jerk and extremely premature action. The vaping industry's voice needs to heard."
VITA will continue to engage the Government of Ontario on this and other vaping issues in a productive and transparent manner.
SOURCE Vaping Industry Trade Association (VITA)
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