Vape product flavour restrictions have been positioned by youth advocacy groups and some health organizations as the best way to prevent youth vaping.
As a result, several provinces have implemented various versions of a flavour ban, with the Northwest Territories and the federal government now considering following suit.
The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) has repeatedly cautioned governments that flavour bans have proven unintended consequences, such as increased smoking, strengthened black-markets and small business closures. Tobacco control and addictions experts have echoed this sentiment, through calls for a more balanced regulatory approach that appropriately balances the lives of adult smokers with youth protection.
“We often use the term unintended consequences to describe the negative effects of flavour bans, but after many years of advocacy and replicated research, these consequences are known. It would be more apt to call the consequences what they really are – collateral damage,” said Darryl Tempest, Government Relations Counsel to the CVA Board.
“The conversation around these bans has been so focused on if they are justified, that no one seems to be asking if they even work. Governments continue to cite Nova Scotia as a model for the [flavour] ban, but Nova Scotia has yet to produce any data on youth vaping rates following the ban,” said Tempest.
Nova Scotia’s 2021 financial statements display a dramatic increase in cigarette sales. “Tax revenue was $11.5 million or 5.9 per cent higher than the estimate primarily due to an increase of 5.6 per cent in the consumption of cigarettes.”
Canadian Vaping Association – Financial Post – 2022-02-04.