MONTREAL, Dec. 19, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - "We are relieved to finally see the federal government begin to clamp down on the widespread promotion of e-cigarettes through strong regulations, yet it is hard to applaud a move that is unjustifiably late and that is, in and of itself, wholly inadequate to even begin to reverse the ongoing increase nicotine vaping among youth," says Flory Doucas, codirector and spokesperson of the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control.
"To be fair, by tabling these proposed regulations, the Honourable Patty Hajdu has done more in the month since being named Health Minister to concretely address youth vaping than the previous Liberal government did over the entire year since statistics available to Health Canada (in November 2018) confirmed the dramatic increase in youth vaping across Canada. But to be frank, at this point, regulations that are limited to promotion and some basic packaging rules that don't also restrict flavours and nicotine content are wholly inadequate to effectively reduce the appeal and addictiveness of these products for teenagers."
"Exactly how much more time and how much more evidence does the government need before introducing urgent and comprehensive measures to combat youth vaping on all possible fronts, as the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health pleaded for last October?"
The proposed federal measures on promotion have essentially existed in Quebec since 2016, and they have not been sufficient to prevent the continuing dramatic increase of youth vaping in that province. Indeed, recent statistics show that youth vaping in Quebec has increased by 70% (from 9.8% in 2016-17 to 16.7% in 2018-19).
"The proposed federal restrictions are welcome for the rest of Canada, but the same measures are not preventing increasing rates of youth vaping in Quebec. Instead of simply catching up to Quebec, why isn't the federal government providing stronger measures than those that have been shown to be inadequate to halt increases in youth vaping? Urgent restrictions on flavours and nicotine concentrations were warranted months ago and there is still no firm commitment to deliver on these issues with a specific and short timeline. Plain product formats and packaging as well as specific taxes to counter cheap pricing strategies are also required."
"More than 18 months since their legalization, nicotine vaping products are still not subject to any specific rules regarding additives, nicotine content and comprehensive health warning. Flavours remain unrestricted, and e-cigarettes are not subject to any specific taxes, meaning they can be sold as cheaply as the industry chooses."
SOURCE Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control
For further information: Flory Doucas, CQCT Spokesperson, Cellphone: 514-515-6780, Phone : 514-598-5533, [email protected]