Talking Points for Senate Bill S-5 Legal Assessment

Talking Points for Senate Bill S-5 Legal Assessment

The full legal assessment (found here) is a significant amount of information to absorb.  For that reason, we have put together a summary that addresses the major fallacies that were identified within the bill.

The short of the long is…  If this bill were to pass today, regulations placed in the hands of the wrong people would result in a complete shutdown of the independent industry and the only remaining player would be Big Tobacco. Thousands of jobs will be lost and 40,000 Canadians will continue to die from smoking related illnesses, every year.

This is a talking points, “short list” of concern for Senate Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

  • No person” can state facts, cite studies, provide testimony, state public information or make comparative remarks about relative risks of Vaping Products compared to smoking
    • “No person” would include every single person in Canada. Retail staff, manufacturer, consumers, guest speaker experts, random person that read about a study or anyone.
    • This creates deception by omission if we can’t discuss relative risks, which is prohibited in consumer protection laws.
    • The inability state published public information protects tobacco companies
    • This is anti-health, anti-consumer, pro-cigarette, and undoubtedly unconstitutional
  • The bill does not address Vaping Products as a harm reduction tool nor does it address HESA Recommendation 3 (That the Government of Canada consult with the public, provinces/territories and stakeholders with respect to the regulation of electronic cigarettes with a view to protecting the health of Canadians.)
    • Every section of the bill is focused on the “potential” harms of Vaping Products and ignores relative risk compared to smoking
    • Nothing recognizes a positive in the transition of smokers to a less harmful product based on that relative risk.
    • Failing this, conflicts with the purpose of the bill, as stated (to protect the health of Canadians in light of conclusive evidence implicating tobacco use in the incidence of numerous debilitating and fatal diseases)
    • On best estimates (Royal College of Physicians), vaping is in the range of 95% less hazardous than smoking
  • Throughout the bill, there are general restrictions to things like advertisement, promotion and allowed/not-allowed “things” based on what “might” appeal to youth
    • We agree that there are some things that can clearly be identified as appealing to youth but that line can become very blurry in most cases.
    • There is no solid guideline for what constitutes “reasonable grounds” for what appeals to youth. This is entirely a judgement call that would change from person to person. We are resorting to interpreting “perception” as opposed to interpreting “the law“.
    • If “reasonable grounds” can only be determined in a court of law, this independent industry might as well close their doors on day one.
    • Youth (under 18 years of age) are already restricted from purchasing the products.
    • From a public health perspective banning something that a “few” youth might be attracted to which could potentially facilitate a transition from smoking to vaping products is counterproductive, given the relative risk.
  • Banning flavours because they “might” be attractive to children. (Section 30.41 prevents the sale of vaping products based on “sensory attributes” which include: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.)
    • From a public health perspective banning a flavour that a “few” youth might be attracted to which could potentially facilitate a transition from smoking to vaping products is counterproductive, given the relative risk.
    • There is no solid guideline for what “reasonable grounds” on appealing to youth actually means. This is entirely a judgement call that WILL change from person to person.
    • Taste/smell is subjective. What you think tastes/smells like blueberries, another person thinks tastes/smells like Lysol.
    • Youth (under 18 years of age) are already restricted from purchasing the products.
  • The Definition of Vaping Product is too broad (a part that may be used with those devices;)
    • This makes every battery a vaping product
    • Every bottle of Propylene Glycol is a vaping product
    • Every bottle of Vegetable Glycerin is a vaping product
    • Ever bottle of food grade flavouring is a vaping product
    • Every lanyard is a vaping product
    • Every electronics micro-switch is a vaping product
    • Etc…
  • No exceptions to providing Vaping Products to youth under 18 (as a rule, this is agreeable)
    • But, what if a 14 year old has been smoking for 2 years and is now unable to quit using approved quit methods? Do we force them to solidify their smoking addiction for another 4 years (5 years, in some provinces) and THEN allow them to purchase Vaping Products?
    • This is also in conflict with the stated purpose of the bill (to protect the health of Canadians in light of conclusive evidence implicating tobacco use in the incidence of numerous debilitating and fatal diseases) and HESA Recommendation 3 (regulation of electronic cigarettes with a view to protecting the health of Canadians.)
    • To restrict access to a less hazardous product to current smokers on the basis of age is discriminatory, a violation of human rights, and inconsistent with the goals of public health in general and this law specifically
  • Protects the interests of Tobacco Cigarettes over Vaping Products throughout the Bill
    • The inability to show, relay or discuss relative risk and comparatives can’t be seen as anything except protection of the interest of cigarettes
    • This is counter to the stated purpose of the bill (to protect the health of Canadians in light of conclusive evidence implicating tobacco use in the incidence of numerous debilitating and fatal diseases)
    • This does not support the HESA Recommendation 3 (regulation of electronic cigarettes with a view to protecting the health of Canadians.)
  • Absurd penalty for violation of a significant number of sections
    • $500,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both

Download these talking point in PDF format by clicking the Download PDF button on the toolbar:

Talking Point Based on Legal Assessment of Senate Bill S5

2 Responses to Talking Points for Senate Bill S-5 Legal Assessment

  1. Well I have been a smoker for 58 years, got diagnosed with Emphysema…tried all the recommended methods to get off the dependency on tobacco with no luck. Took up vaping 2014 and been almost three years without a cigarette thanks to vaping. Lung test showed no change after 3 ct scans.

  2. I smoked for fifty years, tried the vape four years ago never looked back; my doctor backs me all the way with me on the vape