Note to Health Canada: Listen to consumers!

New poll questions effectiveness of plan to ban vaping product flavors

VANCOUVER, BC, May 30, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – To mark World Vaping Day (May 30), the Association of Consumers of Canada (CAC) has released a survey it hopes will convince Health Canada to listen to consumers when it comes to regulating vaping products – something that has not happened to date.

“Health Canada held a consultation in 2019 to seek public input on plans to restrict flavors in vaping products, and over 24,000 consumers responded. Health Canada later released a report on that consultation which admitted that consumer responses had not been taken into account when assessing support for the proposal. This is unacceptable and the people of Canada agree with us on this,” said Bruce CranPresident of the CAC.

As evidence of this, a recent poll conducted for the CCC found that seven in ten Canadians (73%) agreed with the statement that “…for the federal government to best assess the effectiveness of policy proposals , it is important that the opinions of the consumers most directly affected by a particular policy proposal are heard and considered in the decision-making process.”

“It seems obvious that in crafting a regulation targeting a specific group of consumers, the government should consider their views and the potential impact on them, but Health Canada ignored those most affected in the consultation. on its proposed flavor restrictions – and that has implications for public health,” Cran added.

Opinion research conducted by the CAC revealed a risk that even Health Canada has identified: banning most flavored vaping products may cause some vapers to stop using the products, which most likely means that they would start smoking again, which is much worse for health.

  • The survey found that 77% of vapers who had cut down on cigarette smoking attributed the decrease to flavors.
  • Of those who currently use flavored vaping products, 29% said they would not vape or purchase nicotine vaping products if they were limited to tobacco, mint and menthol flavors (such as suggests Health Canada), and 45% would not vape or purchase vaping nicotine products if they were restricted. tobacco flavor only.

“It is perverse that Health Canada is considering regulations that have a high probability of bringing vapers back to smoking, when the scientific consensus – even recognized by Health Canada – is that vaping is a less harmful alternative for smokers than cigarettes” , Cran said.

The poll also found that, compared to other policy proposals, Canadians do not think the flavor restrictions proposed by Health Canada would be as effective in reducing youth vaping. While 30-34% of Canadians felt that restrictions or a complete ban on flavors would be effective measures, 52% felt that punishing retailers who supply vaping products to youth would be effective, followed by national public awareness campaigns to educating and informing youth about the health risks of vaping nicotine (46%) and making it a punishable or legally enforceable offense for youth under the legal age to possess vaping products (40%).

“There are clearly better policy options to tackle youth vaping than flavor restrictions that risk driving adult vapers back to smoking. It is unfortunate that Health Canada has taken a banning approach that is inconsistent with other products used by youth,” Cran said.

On this last point, the survey found that more Canadians believe that flavored alcohol and cannabis products are more appealing to young people than flavored nicotine products, but the flavor restrictions only apply vaping nicotine.

“Flavour restrictions work or not when it comes to preventing consumption among young people. It cannot be said that they are necessary for vaping nicotine, but not for alcohol and cannabis. As an organization that champions consumer choice, we oppose bans in general and would like to see more sophisticated policies from Health Canada,” Cran concluded.

The survey was conducted online by Delphi Polling & Consulting between April 29 and May 10, using a demographically representative sample of 1,200 Canadians of legal vaping age in their respective province. The survey was available in English and French and used nested quotas with targets set in the most recent census around age, gender, province and language (for Quebec).

About the Consumers’ Association of Canada

The Consumers Association of Canada (CAC), founded in 1947, is an independent, national, not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization. Canada’s oldest and most respected consumer organization, our mandate is to inform and educate consumers about market issues, advocate on behalf of consumers with government and industry, and work with government and industry to solve market problems.

SOURCE Association of Consumers of Canada

For further information: For an interview with Bruce Cran, please contact: Laird Greenshields, Cell: 514-464-3252, [email protected]

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