A serious issue
Even prior to the entry of ITCAN into the vapour products market in May 2018, there were concerns expressed about youth use and there were growing reports that schools were facing a significant problem with youth vaping.
Imperial Tobacco Canada has always said–and continues to maintain–that youth should not vape–without caveats or exceptions. Youth vaping is a serious issue that must be addressed through proper enforcement and regulation.
Prohibition doesn’t work
The separate issues of youth access and product safety are being addressed as if they were two sides of the same coin, despite the fact that they have different solutions. Preventing youth vaping requires the enforcement of existing restrictions on sales to youth and on flavours–as already prohibited by federal regulations. Product safety can be ensured by the implementation of regulations to ensure that adult consumers have access to vapour products that have met the most rigorous quality assurance standards and testing.
Fact-based public health policy
This is an extremely complex issue. The government should be talking to scientists and doctors who understand the issue and see both sides. The biggest losers in all of this are the adult smokers in Canada who want a less harmful alternative to smoking.
Federal and provincial governments need to work together to establish a regulatory framework that will:
- Keep vapour products out of the hands of minors
- Give adult smokers a potentially reduced-risk alternative to smoking that they will actually use