Banning Vaping Flavours: Ex-Smokers Could Start Smoking Again Due To Lack Of An Alternative

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Vapers who have quit smoking and tobacco harm reduction experts are concerned with the harmful consequences of proposed ban on flavoured vaping products, most immediately in Quebec but increasingly in other provinces as well. Consistent with its belief in defending the rights of all adult consumers to access their preferred products, the Consumers’ Association of Canada gives vapers a chance to speak in a new video report that sheds light on the benefits of vaping for ex-smokers who want to quit smoking for good.

The report highlights the benefits of vaping for ex-smokers and aims to temper some of the false information conveyed in the media. Through the story of 50-year-old Suzanne, a woman who quit smoking cigarettes with the help of vaping, the public will learn about the positive impact it can have on the lives of ex-smokers. Harm reduction experts also share their clinical experience on the benefits of vaping devices to help smokers quit.

Note that:

  • Quebec alone accounts for 1.3 million smokers each year.
  • According to Quebec Public Health, smokers who want to quit need at least three tries to quit successfully.
  • Tobacco harm reduction experts point out that vaping is the most effective alternative to traditional tools such as patches, gum and inhalers as a way to quit smoking.
  • Health Canada states on its website that there is a clear link between the use of a vaping device and improved success rates for quitting smoking.
  • Various scientific studies show that vaping is a safer way to consume nicotine and that the more smokers turn to vaping, the more the harms associated with smoking decrease.

Flavour ban for vaping devices: a concern for vapers

To discourage young people from vaping, the Quebec government announced its intention to ban vaping flavours last December, other than tobacco. The experts interviewed by the Consumers’ Association of Canada are adamant that flavours play a crucial role in facilitating the transition from smoking because they help smokers replace cigarettes with vaping, thereby improving their health and life expectancy.

“Governments are right to be concerned about our youth’s attraction to vaping devices, but they should not penalize adult ex-smokers who do not want to return to smoking. Vapers need support to quit smoking and to avoid going back to cigarettes. The flavours in vaping devices play a key role in the daily efforts of the smoking-to-vaping transition. Therefore, we ask the Quebec government to exercise caution, to listen carefully to the harm-reduction experts and to remain sensitive to what vaping product consumers have to say. These ex-smokers were able to kick the habit with vaping, but thousands of ex-smokers could start smoking again if governments ban the flavours, with devastating impacts on our health care system,” said Bruce Cran, President of the Consumers’ Association of Canada.

Cran also questioned whether vapers have been consulted on this proposal.  “We hear far too often about governments making consumer-oriented policy without consulting the consumers most affected.  The audience for this regulation is vapers, so the government has to consult them,” stated Cran.

Finally, the Association remains perplexed as to why governments seek to address the policy challenge of youth vaping through blanket product restrictions affecting all consumers, when that is not the case for other products.  “We have previously written to governments listing a vast array of flavoured alcohol and cannabis products which are not banned, despite youth drinking and cannabis use.  We do not understand why then flavour bans are the approach for youth vaping, especially given potential benefits of vaping for adult smokers who switch,” stated Cran.

SOURCE Consumers’ Association of Canada

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