Back in February, we discussed a forthcoming flavour ban in the N.W.T., along with an associated petition to the House of Commons positioned to “protect the rights and health of adult Canadian vapers.”
Ultimately, we argued (and continue to argue) that education is the key to harm reduction and prevention. Outright bans don’t solve the problem, they cloud it (see what we did there? Vape? Cloud?). All that said, flavour prohibitions continue to pervade the industry.
Early in March, it was announced that Sweden had formally proposed a prohibition on all non-tobacco vape flavours, including menthol. If passed, sales of flavoured vape products in the country will be illegal beginning in January next year.
Interestingly, according to the National Library of Medicine (and the corresponding Vaping360.com article), Sweden reportedly has one of the lowest adult smoking rates in Europe, thanks in large part to its long-standing acceptance of snus, a smokeless-tobacco pouch similar to chewing tobacco. Even more interestingly, Swedish Match snus was the first tobacco product to receive Modified Risk (MRTP) designation from the U.S. FDA in 2019.
More specifically, this applies to eight Swedish Match products that fall under the “General” brand banner, which we believe doesn’t have flavour options. That said, Swedish Match DOES create many different types of snus in various different flavours, so it would be interesting to discuss the fine line, grey area, and uncertain differences between this type of smokeless product, versus a vaping one.
Approximately two weeks later, the Chinese government revised its vaping products standards, now stipulating a ban on the domestic sale of non-tobacco flavours (effective May 1).
So the hits keep coming, with little-to-no discussion or education around what other options may or may not be available to ensure the right people are getting the products they need, and at-risk audiences aren’t exposed at the same time. All that to say we don’t know to what extent flavour bans will continue to be considered across Canada, but we do know education is more important now than ever.
To that end, 180 Smoke, through its parent company, Delota Corp., is making a submission in response to the “Consultation on the Legislative Review of the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act on March 16, 2022,” which will, among other things, indicate that while we agree with many of the conditions/protections outline in the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, we do not support the flavour ban.
More specifically, we support:
- Age of majority sales
- The ban on advertising that could be appealing to young persons: section 30.1
- The ban on lifestyle advertising (glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk, daring) of vaping products/brand elements: section 30.2. As well as the ban on characters and animals
- Indications and illustrations on vaping products/packages that suggest flavours are banned if they could be appealing to young persons: section 30.46
- The ban on giveaways of objects that display vaping product brand elements if the objects are associated with or appealing to young persons, or if the objects are associated with glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring lifestyles: section 30.5
Our position is scheduled to be submitted just prior to the end of April. Stay tuned!
Added to that, though… as per the recent petition put in front of our own House of Commons, we’ll reiterate the following:
- Scientific studies have found vaping products are up to 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes
- More than one million adult Canadians have made the choice to switch from smoking to vaping
- Smokers trying to switch from cigarettes are seeking to disassociate vaping with the taste of smoking and prefer a range of vaping product flavours beyond tobacco
- Health Canada is considering regulations to ban vaping product flavours beyond tobacco, which would make the transition away from smoking much harder
- Tens of thousands of vapers have written to Health Canada to object to this proposal, but Health Canada has ignored them
- Public consultations have a duty to accept the submissions made by the public
Next steps? Keep the discussion going. What are your thoughts on the ongoing bans, and how do you think a ban would affect your own considerations when it comes to vaping versus smoking?
Please feel free to chime in via the comments section below, or email us at: