TORONTO, June 7, 2016 /CNW/ - Arthur Potts, MPP Beaches-East York, has indicated he will support his constituents' right to harm reduction and has presented a petition to the Legislature of Ontario signed by thousands of Ontarians, asking the Government to further amend its position on its proposed e-cigarette regulations.
The petition states that the Government should consider further changes to Bill 45, Section 3, that reflect current science regarding the safety of vaping and reflecting the rights of Canadians to harm reduction as noted in the Canadian Charter of Rights.
The petition, originally presented by MPP Potts on June 2nd, 6th and 7th, underlines that the Ontario Government has disregarded the science favouring vaping and the benefits of Tobacco Harm Reduction – and, as such, may violate section 7 of the Canadian Charter – specifically the right to security. MPP Potts believes that e-cigarettes and "vaping" have shown potential as a harm reduction alternative to smoking. Should the specific sections of the Act that are raised in the petition be proclaimed, the Act would not only fail to acknowledge that potential, but make it difficult to access and understand proper use of vaping in a safe manner.
It's noted in several recent studies that there is no scientific evidence that second hand vapour is harmful.
Consumer and industry advocates have been requesting sensible regulations since the Bill was introduced in 2014. The concerns of hundreds of thousands of Ontarians who have chosen vaping as an alternative to tobacco have prompted demonstrations at constituency offices of MPPs and rallies at Queens Park in 2015 and 2016. These events, organized by Vapor Advocates of Ontario (VAO) along with support from organizations including the Canadian Vaping Association (CVA), garnered significant media attention.
CVA has retained Constitutional lawyer Doug Elliott. Through his legal team at Cambridge LLP he has stated that the proposed regulations limiting where e-cigarettes may be used are arbitrary and unconstitutional, and may be vulnerable to a Charter challenge. "Government can't interfere in making healthier choices unless there is good scientific evidence" says Elliott. He continues "the law says you cannot sell vaping products to people under the age of 19. As soon as you ban sales to people under 19 you've protected children, but prohibiting vaping in vape shops is akin to a ban and that's a problem for the government."
SOURCE Vapor Advocates of Ontario
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