Quebec’s vaping community faces a significant turning point as the province moves forward with a comprehensive flavour ban on vaping products. The restrictive regulations proposed on April 19, 2023 were approved by the provincial Government on August 2, and are set to take effect on October 31, 2023. The ban will impact all products containing e-liquids, restricting options to only tobacco or flavourless variants. Additionally, the regulations will limit bottle sizes to 30mL and tank/pod/disposable sizes to 2mL.
As the vaping industry prepares for these sweeping changes, industry players like 180 Smoke must navigate the implications and adapt to the evolving regulatory landscape. In this blog post, we will explore the effects of Quebec’s approved comprehensive flavour ban on vapers and the vaping industry.
Impact on Youth Vaping Rates
The central objective of the comprehensive flavour ban remains consistent – to reduce youth vaping rates. By removing appealing flavours, the government aims to discourage young individuals from taking up vaping. If effective, this measure could lead to a decline in the number of underage vapers and mitigate potential long-term health consequences associated with nicotine addiction.
Challenges for Adult Smokers and Vapers
While the ban’s primary focus is on youth prevention, adult smokers and vapers are also expected to be affected. Flavoured e-liquids have played a critical role in helping adults quit smoking and transition to vaping. Many adult vapers rely on these flavours to maintain their smoke-free lifestyles.
With the comprehensive ban in place, adult vapers may face challenges finding alternative e-liquids that suit their preferences. This could potentially lead to some adults reverting to smoking, hindering the ban’s overall goal of reducing tobacco consumption and promoting harm reduction.
Economic Impact on the Vaping Industry
The vaping industry in Quebec is likely to experience significant economic challenges due to the comprehensive flavour ban. Manufacturers and retailers heavily reliant on flavoured e-liquids may encounter declining sales and revenue. The ban could also affect job security within the industry and lead to store closures, particularly for businesses that have built their models around flavoured vaping products.
Moreover, the ban may inadvertently drive vapers towards the black market to obtain banned flavours, potentially exposing them to unregulated and unsafe e-liquids.
Drawing from the Experiences of Other Provinces
With the approved comprehensive ban, Quebec joins other provinces that have enacted similar restrictions on flavoured vaping products including Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and the Northwest Territories. British Columbia also has a ban on e-liquids bottles larger than 30mL and tanks/pods/disposables larger than 2mL, but continues to allow the sale of flavoured products. Drawing insights from the experiences of other regions will be essential in anticipating potential outcomes and addressing challenges.
180 Smoke’s Position on the Ban
180 Smoke firmly opposes Quebec’s amendments to the Tobacco Control Act that will ban non-tobacco flavoured vaping products and restrict the size of disposables, pods, reservoirs, and e-liquid bottles. The company believes that the ban will curtail consumers’ choices and negatively impact the survival of hundreds of small businesses within the vaping industry.
During the 45-day consultation period ending on June 3, 2023, 180 Smoke encouraged Quebec residents to speak out against the flavour ban by sending letters directly to the government using a convenient form provided by the Coalition des droits des vapoteurs du Quebec. Over 24 thousand residents utilized this sophisticated platform contributing personal testimonials, and non-Quebec residents were also encouraged to voice their concerns by writing letters directly to the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé.
The company highlights that the ban may have far-reaching consequences, potentially setting a precedent for other provinces to follow suit in implementing similar restrictive measures. Flavours are essential for smokers looking to quit, and removing them completely may hinder their transition to a less harmful source of nicotine.
While the regulations are aimed at improving public health, 180 Smoke argues that over-regulation could bring negative consequences to Canada’s competitiveness and regulatory environment, ultimately doing more harm than good.
Quebec’s approved comprehensive flavour ban on vaping products, set to be implemented on October 31, 2023, has significant implications for vapers and the vaping industry. As the implementation date approaches, industry players like 180 Smoke must adapt to the changing regulations and explore alternative strategies to support both youth protection and harm reduction for adult smokers. Responsible regulation and continued emphasis on consumer choice will be crucial in navigating the evolving landscape of vaping in Quebec.