No to bill S-5. Fair legislation for Vapers!
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For many Canadians, smoking is and/or was an addiction that many struggled with, usually from a young age (I had friends who started at 12 or 13). With advances in technology and with market demand, in the past few years electronic cigarettes or vaporizers have become a more than viable option to help individuals (myself included) begin to ween off cigarettes or in some cases, replace cigarettes with vaping, as a harm reducing alternative.
We know from numerous studies and findings, most notably the work of the Royal College of Physicians in the UK, that vaping is about 90-95% less harmful than smoking. So why is the Canadian government about to regulate the industry out of existence?
Bill S-5 seeks to place overbearing and draconian rules in place to regulate the vaping industry in the name of protecting children from beginning vaping or smoking. While all vapers would agree that this is right and that in no way should minors be smoking or vaping, we see these regulations as dangerous to the industry and commercial availability of products that genuinely help adults keep cancer causing carcinogens from being introduced to their bodies.
Specifically, Bill S-5 seeks to eliminate flavorings from e-juice and make it illegal to offer any flavors other than flavorless or tobacco. Personally, the fact that I could taste honeydew while vaping made cigarettes unattractive and unpleasant to the palate. As an employee in a vape store I know first hand that tobacco flavors don't emulate well and they are among the least popular products in the industry. Forcing people to these flavors will just encourage more cigarette use as there would be customer dissatisfaction with the product and therefore less impetus to use it.
Furthermore, the bill would prevent talking about the fact that Vaping devices and e-juice use does not contain carcinogens or tar, the main cancer causing ingredients present in cigarettes. Shops would also be unable to provide any customer service to clients in regards to help with their devices from a technical aspect. I know many seniors who use vaporizers as a way to prevent further health complications from a lifetime of smoking, people who just want to stick around to watch their grandchildren grow up. These indiviudals don't always understand the technology and come to shops for help with questions and issues. If we are gagged and can't help them I firmly believe many of them will return to smoking.
To the Senators and MP's of the Government of Canada. We want the same things as you, we want our kids to be smoke and vape free but we also want our industry to be able to thrive so we can provide these products and continue offering alternatives that are clearly and scientifically proven to be safer to human life than carcinogenic cigarettes. Make no mistake, Bill S-5 is staged prohibition and will hurt more people than it helps. Please work with the vaping industry and citizens of Canada to craft a fair, balanced, and scientifically sound piece of legislation regarding this issue.
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