CAC Calls on Party Leaders to Protect Harm Reduction Options for Consumers
VANCOUVER, Sept. 13, 2019 /CNW/ – The Consumers’ Association of Canada expressed its dismay today at reports the Trump administration in the U.S. is considering a ban on flavoured vapour products, and that Canada’s federal and provincial political leaders are being asked to consider the same. The CAC feels this would be a huge setback for harm reduction and consumer rights.
“We all know the health consequences of smoking, which is why the CAC has taken a public position in favour of reduced harm products like electronic cigarettes,” stated Bruce Cran, CAC President. “We believe these alternatives must be made available to consumers and we have heard loud and clear from the vaping community that flavours are an important factor in the shift away from smoking cigarettes.”
Media reports from the U.S. suggest the Trump administration’s move is in response to data showing youth are using vapour products, but the CAC believes a flavour ban is an ineffective, feel-good solution.
“Surveys consistently show that the most used substances by youth in Canada are alcohol and cannabis. When governments are presented with this data, is their policy response to ban flavoured alcohol and cannabis for all Canadians? Of course not. In fact, they took the opposite approach with cannabis and legalized it. Why then when presented with data showing youth use of vapour products is the policy response to ban flavours? It is lazy policy-making done for headlines, not public health,” stated Cran.
The CAC is warning Canada’s federal and provincial leaders to avoid a similar knee-jerk response to this issue to that made by the Trump administration, saying it would be a huge setback to public health and push consumers to the unregulated black market or back to smoking. The CAC also sought to remind Party leaders that vapour products with flavours appealing to youth are already prohibited in Canada.
“The public health goal is purportedly to get smokers to switch to less harmful products. It is beyond comprehension why governments would then make that process harder by taking away factors, like flavours, that help in that process. Furthermore, existing legislation already restricts flavours that could appeal to youth, so if that is not being enforced, it’s ultimately governments that are accountable. More laws and regulations are not the answer,” concluded Cran.
The CAC’s recommendation on this issue is to protect the rights of Canadian consumers who vape by allowing them to access legal products, while taking action to remove illegal products from the market and ensure that those who sell to youth are severely punished.