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March 14, 2019
Attention all Canadian vapers, harm reduction advocates, and interested parties: the deadline (March 22, 2019) is looming to have your voice heard.The government of Canada is currently in consultation with the public in order to determine measures which may reduce the impact of vaping on youth and nonsmokers. The government will be determining new measures to prevent experimentation and the uptake of vaping by young people as well as non-users.
As an industry, we've agreed that we want to restrict youth from vapor products and in fact took measures before any were introduced: carding and restricting shops to adults only. Our concern is that the moral panic that has ensued with young people (as always) still managing to obtain products not meant for them, there will be an overreaction and overreach similar to what has been seen in other districts such as the U.S.A..
This is a great concern to all of us who rely on vaping to prevent a return to smoking and to all of us still very much concerned with keeping these products available to the smokers who have still yet to make the switch. The last time Health Canada held a public consultation, the response was not overwhelming. We need to have as many reasonable voices heard in order to have an impact.
Please set some time aside to email Health Canada. Ask your family members, friends, and other parties such as your health practitioners- anyone who has an interest in your health and well being- to participate. Take the time to consider your response. There is sometimes the impulse to suggest banning something that we don't personally use (e.g. pod systems) because we believe it will protect our own preferred device(s). This is seldom the outcome.
As always, we suggest that you temper your responses and interact with government officials in a respectful manner. We realize the stakes and that tempers flare when faced with the possibility of restrictions on what many of us believe to be a life saving technology. Using foul language or heated rhetoric will not win the argument though and only reflects poorly on us all. It makes it easier to dismiss our voices.
It is important that we be seen for who we really are: mothers, fathers, business people, teachers, partners, neighbours- regular people who have found a way to quit smoking and want to preserve that for ourselves and for those yet to come.
For more information on the consultation click here. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and they are requesting that you use Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat to submit your comments.
In the spirit of transparency, you can read our submission here.
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