TORONTO, Aug. 8, 2017 /CNW/ - Vapor Advocates of Ontario (VAO) have come out swinging in response to the new campaign fronted by the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) vapingregulation.ca, opposing differential regulation for e-cigarettes, low-risk alternatives to cigarettes.
VAO, representing vape shop owners and vape advocates, dismisses outright the OCSA campaign for its attempt to protect cigarettes from competition from products the UK Royal College of Physicians has identified to be at least 95% less hazardous than smoking. Vape shop owners who promote and educate customers on the safe use of vape-related products inside their own commercial spaces through sampling are angered by this cynical move to lobby Ontario to make it less likely cigarette smokers will get the assistance necessary to quit smoking. Health Canada identifies smoking as the cause of over 100 deaths every day in Canada.
"This well-funded organization, whose similar looking past campaigns to protect the cigarette business have been shown to be funded by the cigarette companies have chosen to copy our 2016 campaign www.vapingisntsmoking.com by flipping the message and pushing Ontario into force-fitting vapor products into regulations designed to reduce smoking." Said Maria Duic, VAO spokesperson, "These shills are simply advocates for cigarette consumption, and are brazen in their attempt to put profits from the sale of cigarettes over the proven harm reduction strategy of vaping, which is in direct contradiction of the spirit of Smoke-Free Ontario – an Act we endorse wholeheartedly."
Public health advocate David Sweanor, of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa, was dismissive of the anti-vaping campaign, "Any effort to treat cigarettes no differently from massively less hazardous alternatives like vaping protects the cigarette business rather than public health. It is akin to whiskey distillers wanting orange juice to be subjected to identical regulations. "
The VAO movement is moving forward with efforts to advocate for fair regulations to help the more than 1 million Ontario smokers on a path towards a smoke-free future. VAO believes in Smoke-Free Ontario and promotes regulations aimed at facilitating smokers in reducing their risks.
"Anyone lobbying for protection of the lethal cigarette trade should instead be looking at their responsibility for the horrendous death and disease those products have caused and seeking ways to help their customers quit rather than trying to put obstacles in their way," said Ms. Duic.
"VAO encourages all Canadians who support vaping, or simply support the fundamental right to life and to free speech of all Canadians as laid out in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to go to www.vapingisntsmoking.com and follow our prompts on how to voice your concerns", said Duic.
VAO is a grass roots advocacy group started in 2015 and comprised of consumers and business owners who want government to recognize the constitutional rights of citizens to use and sell vape products in a safe and effective manner.
SOURCE Vapors Advocates of Ontario