BONOKOSKI: Health Canada spits counter-intuitive vaping policy


Ban on flavored vape juices, nicotine limits will push smokers to return to cigarettes

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Just when it was thought it was safe to vape rather than smoke cigarettes, Trudeau’s Liberals are unwittingly conspiring to resuscitate the age-old sin of cigarettes.

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They don’t think it will happen of course, but it will

July 19, according to federal law Gazette, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals will announce new regulations to not only reduce the level of nicotine in e-cigarette vaping products, but also ban flavored vaping liquids beyond tobacco and menthol / mint.

“Health Canada is pushing smokers back to smoking cigarettes and into ‘Big Tobacco’,” said Shai Bekman, president of DashVapes Inc., Canada’s largest independent electronic cigarette company.

Ontario’s preemptive decision to ban vape flavors will affect major brands of e-cigarettes that sell primarily in convenience stores, like Juul and Vype.

Both companies sell e-cigarette pods in flavors such as cucumber, mango, strawberry and vanilla.

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But what is Health Canada thinking about?

According to various experts in sociological behavior, and confirmed in numerous peer-reviewed articles, rather than reducing smoking, it will eventually reduce vapers to real cigarettes and, due to the harsh tax of over 70 percent on fumes, will also lead to increased demand for contraband cigarettes.

After all, if you’re going to smoke, why pay a heavily taxed $ 20 pack when a trip to the friendly smoking shack at any Mohawk reserve in Ontario and Quebec will get you a non-packet. taxed for as little as $ 4?

As David Clement, director of North American affairs at the Consumer Choice Center, recently wrote in the Financial post, “Our federal government ignores what works overseas and rejects its usual guiding principle of harm reduction.

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  1. Contraband cigarettes seized near Cornwall are shown in an RCMP photo.  (THE CANADIAN PRESS / HO-GRC)

    BONOKOSKI: Contraband cigarettes finance terrorism, organized crime

  2. A packet of illegal cigarettes

    BONOKOSKI: Contraband tobacco often the economic fuel of crime

  3. A two-year investigation dubbed Project Cairnes resulted in the seizure of 11.5 million contraband cigarettes destined for British Columbia, the Ontario Provincial Police revealed on Thursday, June 11, 2020.

    BONOKOSKI: Cops’ two-year contraband tobacco investigation hits the mark

  4. the contraband cigarette trade continues to grow unabated.

    BONOKOSKI: Ontario Budget Blows Smoke On “Unregulated” Tobacco

“Restricting youth access to vaping products is very important, but banning flavors for adult smokers who are trying to quit is a huge mistake, which could have fatal consequences,” said Clement.

“About 1.5 million Canadians use vaping products, most of whom are smokers trying to quit. Research into consumer buying habits shows that 650,000 of these vape users currently rely on flavors that would be banned if the ban were passed.

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In May, also in the Financial post, Fred O’Riordan, former Director General of Revenue Canada, said “the federal budget has something for everyone, including contraband traders.

“Their unexpected giveaway came in the form of a $ 4 per carton increase in excise duty on legally manufactured cigarettes, a sharp increase that could mark the end of an era – in which tax policy was an effective tool. to control tobacco use – and the onset of another.

“More smokers will switch to readily available and much cheaper contraband products,” he wrote.

“(It) will be bad for the health side of politics, especially young people, because illegal sellers don’t ask for proof of age.”

The purpose of tobacco taxes, of course, is to increase revenue, but projections have been going down for years.

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Last November, the Canada Revenue Agency estimated the 2014 loss of federal excise tax revenue on illegal cigarettes – the so-called “tax gap” – at about $ 483 million.

Lost provincial tax revenues would more than double this estimate. And these “last” figures are seven years old.

What is needed is the audacity to reduce tobacco taxes enough to make contraband buying a no-brainer. Ontario Premier Mike Harris did so and tobacco revenues have increased predictably.

And keep the flavored vapes – mango, vanilla, and even bubble gum, all of which are also sold in the reserves.

Health Canada must stop being so counterintuitive.

It does not work.

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