Opinion: Gélinas’ vaping bill misses the point

The vaping bill is not for Nickel Belt MPP’s kids will only make it harder for smokers to transition to vaping and finally quitting, while doing little to keep them off the hook. reach of children

Recently, Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas tabled a bill outlining a series of ill-conceived regulatory proposals that target vaping products. His bill is called Vaping is not for Kids. We agree on the title of his bill, vaping is not for children. But that’s where our deal ends.

It details measures that would give unprecedented powers to regional health authorities, increase taxes on vaping products, ban flavored vaping products, and ban all forms of advertising and promotion.

These measures combined will force vapers to start smoking again.

This bill presents these proposals under the guise of saving children from vaping. A lofty goal, but one that completely ignores the science and reality of adult vaping. There are over one million adult vapers in Canada. The vast majority of these people were smokers.

Gélinas had the opportunity to hear first-hand stories from his constituents, the very people who rely on flavored vaping products to stay smoke-free. Yet there is no mention or concern for those addicted to vaping in his bill. It’s like she rejects their stories and decides that their quality of life is worth less.

This from a party that in October last year touted the virtues of harm reduction. Ahead of the upcoming provincial election, the NDP criticized the Conservatives for failing to implement measures to reduce the harms of opioid use in Ontario. The NDP praised safe injection sites and safe supply.

Why can’t the NPD use the same lens for smoking and vaping?

We need to stop systematically excluding the voices and needs of those addicted to combustible tobacco, especially from a party that emphasizes the motto “people before profit”. We need them to follow their conversation.

In England, where vaping is an accepted smoking cessation tool and the potential for harm reduction is understood, “evidence suggests that e-cigarettes have contributed to tens of thousands more quits in England”.

We must introduce legislation that makes it easier for adult smokers and vapers to access these lifesaving products, while ensuring that those who provide vaping products to teens are charged to the full extent of the law. Vaping products are already highly regulated in Canada. There are laws in place that restrict the sale of vaping products to minors – so let’s enforce them.

Vaping products save lives. There is no doubt. They are 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes and they help smokers quit smoking. These are good things to celebrate, especially considering that 48,000 Canadians died of smoking-related illnesses last year.

Zero died from vaping.

How many lives were saved from vaping last year? Even if it was an Ontarian, keeping vaping products available is worth it.

Maria Papaoiannoy is an entrepreneur and harmful tobacco worker who is a member of the Rights 4 Vapers group.

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