MONTREAL, Nov. 21, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - Although Imperial Tobacco Canada continues to believe that youth should not vape and supports effective efforts to address the issue, it is shocked that the P.E.I. legislature and the Minister of Health has allowed special interests and misinformation get in the way of sensible and fact-based public health policy.
"This is an extremely complex issue with the potential to reduce smoking related disease among Islanders," said Eric Gagnon, Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Imperial Tobacco Canada. "The government should be talking to scientists and doctors who understand the issue and see both sides," he added.
Health Canada has acknowledged that vaping is a less harmful alternative to cigarettes and, in the UK, Public Health England (the equivalent of Health Canada) estimates that vaping products are at least 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes, and as a result of their progressive policies over 3 million smokers have quit smoking.
"The vaping regulations introduced yesterday may make everyone in the legislature feel good, but they won't do anything to reduce youth vaping. The only thing these measures will do is make it more difficult for adult smokers to access a less harmful alternative to smoking while forcing consumers either back to cigarettes or to the black-market," said Mr. Gagnon.
The biggest losers in all of this are the adult smokers in P.E.I. who want an alternative to smoking. With these new regulations, they won't be able to purchase a vapour product in the very place where they are faced with the life-changing decision: to quit smoking.
"If Mr. Deagle was really concerned about P.E.I.'s youth, why didn't he introduce similar age and flavour restrictions for alcohol and marijuana which, based on government's own data, are consumed at a much higher rate than cigarettes and vaping by youth," said Mr. Gagnon. "Although realistically speaking, we all know that this won't happen as cannabis and alcohol are government monopolies in P.E.I. and they operate under different rules that the rest," concluded Mr. Gagnon.
On May 23, 2018, the Federal Government, understanding the need to balance the tobacco harm reduction potential of vapour products while ensuring minors do not have access to these products, passed the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA). This legislation set the rules for the manufacturing, sale, labelling and promotion of vapour products in order to protect Canadian youth.
Imperial Tobacco Canada continues to advocate for current regulations to be properly enforced across the country and for anyone that breaks the law to be severely punished. It is already illegal to sell vaping products to minors and it is also illegal to sell vaping products with flavours like cotton candy or other youth-oriented flavors. Instead of introducing extreme ill-conceived measures, federal and provincial governments need to work together to establish a balanced regulatory framework that will maximize the opportunity for adult smokers to switch to vaping while strengthening the enforcement of existing regulations to stem youth access to vaping products.
SOURCE Imperial Tobacco Canada
For further information: or interview requests, please contact: Samiha Fariha, Torchia Communications, O: 416-341-9929 ext. 224, C: 647-268-6687, [email protected]; Jean-Nicolas Desjeunes, Torchia Communications, O: 514-288-8290 ext. 260, [email protected]