If you are not familiar with the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF), they are a registered charity, independent and non-partisan. They defend the constitutional rights and freedoms of Canadians in the courts of law and public opinion. Their Mission is to “protect the constitutional freedoms of Canadians through education, communication and litigation.”
Today, the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) released its report “Vaping and the Law,” (shown below) the first ever comprehensive study of e-cigarette regulations in Canada.
In a Press Release today, they state:
New Canadian Constitution Foundation Report Reveals Major Problems with Canadian Vaping Laws
Additionally, they say:
These laws and proposed laws threaten the industry’s ability to grow and maximise the significant public health and financial benefits of encouraging cigarette smokers and would be smokers to switch to less-harmful e-cigarette technologies.
Further, because e-cigarettes are a proven harm-reduction tool and an aid to cigarette smokers trying to break their life-threatening habit, impeding Canadians’ access to e-cigarette technology may violate section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the right to life, liberty, and security of the person.
Their statement regarding the newly introduced Senate Bill S-5 should be most concerning of all:
Unfortunately, our analysis of Bill S-5 shows that the federal government, while paying lip-service in its communications to the harm-reduction potential of e-cigarettes, is planning to make it much harder for smokers to learn about the benefits of switching to e-cigarette technology or to access and adopt e-cigarette technology.
We are being told by government officials that the bill is flexible enough to “make changes” without much effort. This is true and a less restrictive future is being implied (the aforementioned lip-service?). The risk being that Bill S-5 still has vapor products closely aligned with tobacco products.
Nothing about tobacco product regulation has been, nor will they ever be less restrictive than they are today. This opens the industry to risk of complete eventual prohibition if it were placed in the hands of a puritan or prohibitionist legislator.
Consumers and businesses all know that vapour products are harm reduction products, not tobacco products.
There are many things in this bill that require revision. Not the lease of which, the bill immediately puts a gag on businesses from even telling smokers that the products are 95-97% less harmful based on public, published scientific evidence. Forcing the industry to withhold evidence based truth from their consumers borders criminal.
The Canadian Constitution Foundation is concerned about the topic and issues identified in this report and will continue to monitor and report on any new vaping
legislation enacted within Canada with respect to their impact on the constitutional rights of Canadians.
E-cigarettes present our nation with an enormous health-care opportunity with the potential to save lives and billions of dollars in taxpayer money.
Until the recommendations in this report can be implemented, the Canadian Constitution Foundation asks legislators to educate themselves on the actual evidence about the relative benefits of e-cigarettes over combustible cigarettes, the public-health approach to e-cigarettes adopted in the United Kingdom, and to bear in mind the constitutional issues implicated in regulating healthier alternatives to combustible cigarettes.
To avoid constitutional scrutiny and future litigation, e-cigarette legislation should not erect irrational or arbitrary legal barriers that unnecessarily impede or inhibit
smokers from switching from combustible cigarettes to demonstrably healthier ecigarettes.
Such needless barriers include treating e-cigarettes as if they are traditional combustible tobacco products, banning e-juice flavours, prohibiting access for youth with proper permission, restricting the discretion of vape shop owners to demonstrate products to customers, and failing to educate smokers about the benefits of switching to e-cigarettes or their effectiveness as a harm reduction tool.
Please read the CCF Press Release and their report below. We strongly encourage everyone to schedule a face-to-face meeting with your Federal MP or a Senator to discuss the concerns with this bill. EVERY individual can make a difference in the future of vapour products.
The full report can be downloaded from their website here.
To request a hard-copy of the report or to support the work of the CCF, please go here.Vaping-Report-digital