Author: Holly Nicholas, Rebel Commentator
Source: CLICK HERE
Even if you are not a vaper or smoker or even if you don’t care about smokers, Bill S-5 impacts YOU in the form of taxation for coverage of healthcare cost. The government of Canada allows the sale of deadly tobacco cigarettes that are killing nearly 37,000 Canadians every year. Shouldn’t information and accessibility to a product proving to be a significant harm reduction tool against smoking be more readily available and distributed freely to smokers?
Come on, Canada… Either we SUPPORT Harm Reduction or we don’t.
With Bill S-5, the federal government is trying to pass legislation that targets electronic cigarettes and vaping. It hasn’t come into effect yet but did pass second reading and is now in committee so it’s important for Canadians to know what’s wrong with this bill.
First, it lumps vaping into the same category as smoking tobacco, but there’s a big difference between the two.
Vaping serves as a harm reduction tool because there’s no combustion involved as there is with tobacco. And while media and government tend to demonize electronic cigarettes, a U.K. study has shown it to be 95% less harmful than smoking traditional tobacco.
Derek From, a lawyer with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, wrote a report that compares vaping legislation across the country, so he knows a lot about the laws surrounding both vaping and tobacco.
According to the Canadian Journal of Public Health, the annual average health care cost per traditional tobacco smoker is $3,071 resulting in a direct health care cost of $4.4B per year. Further, they say the overall economic burden of smoking in 2008 was $18.4B.
Smoking rates have decreased since that time and by 2012 smoking rates decreased to 17.5%. To show what kind of savings taxpayers could realize with decreases in smoking, if that number was down to 12.5% like it is in B.C., this could save $2.8B annually.
Making the switch to electronic cigarettes could make that possible, but the government keeps getting in the way of Canadians accessing harm reduction.