MONTREAL, April 13, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA), a national association of advocates, retailers, manufacturers and distributors of the electronic cigarette industry, has filed a legal challenge against Quebec's Bill 44, An Act to Bolster Tobacco Control, which took effect on November 26, 2015.
"By prohibiting the testing of e-cigarettes in specialty vape shops, banning display and promotion in store and online sales of any vape product, we believe the Government of Quebec should be taken to task over the constitutionality of Bill 44", said Mr. Beju Lakhani, President of the Canadian Vaping Association. "Our membership includes those who wish to vape rather than smoke tobacco and those who assist customers choose the most appropriate products that are right for them and, of course to help them understand how to use them properly. By introducing these measures, the Government of Quebec, we believe has overstepped its legislative authority, which leaves us with no other choice than to bring this matter before the courts," said Mr. Lakhani.
The CVA, as an active stakeholder in the vaping industry participated in the public consultations and provided reasonable alternatives to the measures proposed in Bill 44.
When describing how members feel about the action, Mr. Lakhani added, "legal action is not something we ever contemplated undertaking, nor is it something we take lightly, however, we have been left with no other alternative."
The CVA believes that by imposing these measures, the government may be faced with the unintended consequence of driving the vaping market underground where regulation, including the ban on sales to minors, will be next to impossible. Under Bill 44, Quebec consumers are still able to buy products online from sites domiciled in other Canadian provinces or even off-shore - this at a time when the government is trying to restrict on-line sales of gaming sites in the province. "It makes no sense to create a negative situation for smokers who want to quit smoking in favour of a safer alternative in vaping ", said Mr. Lakhani
New users of vaping technology and products who cannot obtain the products and technology from qualified specialty vape stores under this current regulatory environment will not be able to get "in person" access to adequate and appropriate information or instruction on how to use the product effectively.
"Vape shop owners used to spend on average about an hour to an hour and a half detailing customers who are motivated to get off tobacco, specifically those who are new to the technology. We are no longer allowed to provide this hands on instruction in Quebec due to Bill 44 and I fear the motivation is simply politics," said Daniel Marien, spokesperson for Quebec's CVA members.
Formed in 2014, the CVA has membership across Canada. Its core mandate is to work with governments to encourage appropriate regulation of the industry given that millions of Canadians want to stop smoking in favour of a safe alternative to tobacco. The CVA has met with legislators in provinces across Canada and with Health Canada on this issue. Further, the Association believes that Regulation is necessary and must ensure the safety of all Canadians responsibly and without infringing on their constitutional rights for access to alternatives to smoking.
(dispo en francaise)
SOURCE Canadian Vaping Association
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