Samuel Tam, the president of the Canadian Vaping Association had an interview with CBC News: Compass last Thursday. In his conversation, he shared his concern regarding the proposed bill in Prince Edward Island that would severely restrict the flavours of e-liquid available for vapers in that province. Tam stated: “There are other ways to regulate and restrict youth from being able to access vaping products while still maintaining the options for adult smokers to wean off cigarettes and onto much safer vaping products.”
Tam said “If we look at the B.C.government, what they’ve done is they’ve restricted flavors to adult only specialty stores and they limit nicotine concentration level.”
Tam goes on to say: “Advertising promotions also need to be restricted, especially in places where kids have access to, which is really important. Ontario took that approach by banning advertising and promotions in convenience stores and gas stations were we know a lot of Canadian youths are congregating to buy their gums and candies.”
The concern with many people involved in the vaping industry is that restricting flavours will turn many current vapers back to cigarettes. The a CSA (Atlantic Convenience Stores Association) and CICC (Convenience Industry Council of Canada) both suggested that the bill proposed in Prince Edward Island would push former smokers back to cigarettes.
Tam also challenged the regulations within the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act in regard to “naming conventions”. This would restrict companies from using language to describe the flavour of the E-liquids such as cotton candy, fruity pebbles, etc. “It’s hard for them (adult customers) to identify the flavours if the flavuor is called number 18, right? So one of the key things is adults will be able to know the flavour when they walk into an adult only vape shop.” Tam stated.
The Canadian Vaping Association meets with Health Canada regularly and has proposed some ideas around limiting vaping ads. Some of them included a two-step age verification process which would make it more difficult for youth to gain access to any vaping products.
The critical piece of this discussion ultimately comes down to the free choice of adults to purchase products which have been proven to be 95% safer than smoking in an effort to quit smoking, contrasted with the current epidemic of youth vaping in Canada. This is not an easy problem with an easy solution, and will likely require all of the leaders to come together within the industry as well as within our government to adapt a series of regulations that will both protect the youth, and continue to provide the choice for adult smokers looking to transition away from tobacco cigarettes.
Original article posted by CBC.