The Canadian Vaping Association: Quebec Coalition for
BEAMSVILLE, Ontario, June 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control has issued a press release advocating the implementation of a flavor ban and nicotine cap in Quebec. The Canadian Vaping Association (ACV) is warning the Quebec government that while these measures are well intentioned, they will lead to increased smoking rates and harm public health.
For decades, governments around the world have relied on quit smoking helplines, online resources, and low-efficacy cessation products to end the tobacco pandemic. Despite limited success with this model, it continues to be the “right way” to quit smoking. Vaping could be the best harm reduction product of our lives if it weren’t for the unfounded fears and misinformation surrounding vaping.
“Quitting smoking is very difficult and there is no right way to quit smoking. Smokers who manage to quit should be commended for their success, regardless of the method used. CVA supports the use of all smoking cessation aids. However, the current tobacco control strategy ignores the reality of quitting smoking. On average, smokers make 30 quit attempts and only 7% succeed. Public Health England recently stated that vaping is more effective than all major nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products and reaffirmed that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. If Canada is to meet its goal of 5% smoking prevalence by 2035, the current tobacco control strategy must be revised, ”said John Xydous, CVA Regional President.
Over 90,000 Canadians have emailed their MPs, asserting the importance of flavor in quitting smoking. The testimony of vapers is further validated by researchers at Yale, who found that adults who quit using a flavored product were 2.5 times more likely to successfully quit smoking. The study concludes: “While the proposed flavor bans are well intentioned, they have disastrous results. Vaping flavor legislation must take into account the facts of smoking cessation and harm reduction, and we urge lawmakers to oppose the widespread implementation of such bans.
Additionally, there is little evidence to suggest that banning flavors would reduce experimentation by young people. The idea that flavors are a primary influence for youth vaping is a common misconception that has been discredited by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the CDC report, “Tobacco Product Use and Associated Factors Among College and High School Students,” 77.7% of youth reported that they vaped for reasons other than “because cigarettes electronics are available in flavors such as mint, candy, fruit. or chocolate. The most common reason for use among young people was, “I was curious about them”.
Recently, the results of the Youth and Young Adult Vaping Project survey were released. Flavors have not been listed as a primary influence for youth and young adults in Canada. Respondents indicated that peers, followed by desire to quit smoking and exposure to social media were the main motivators. Flavors continue to be the scapegoats long after data showed they don’t stimulate consumption among young people.
The QCTC recommendations are not science-based. The arguments in support of their recommendations have all been debunked. Vaping has been shown to be both effective in quitting smoking and 95% less harmful. The Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control says vaping acts as a gateway to smoking, but data suggests vaping is a gateway outside of smoking. If vaping really increased the likelihood of smoking among youth, we would have seen an increase in smoking prevalence among young adults who were teens at the peak of youth vaping prevalence. Yet smoking rates continue to decline in all age groups.
In the QCTC press release, Ms. Doucas declares: “We must not have to choose between prevention for young people and quitting for adult smokers. The CVA agrees that it doesn’t have to be either, we can balance protecting young people with harm reduction for adults. Canada already has strict regulations in place to protect young people, but has lacked consistent enforcement. Banning flavors won’t do much to protect young people and instead push thousands of vapers to start smoking again. Restricting flavors and high nicotine vaping products to age-limited specialty stores eliminates legal entry points for young people. Effective regulation should seek to restrict access and strengthen enforcement, while maintaining reasonable access for harm reduction in adults.
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