Ontario is considering a ban on flavoured e-cigarette products, which appeal to young people, but it is also weighing concerns that restrictions could deter adults who use vapes to quit smoking.

Balancing worries about the rising rates of youth vaping with the desire to make e-cigarettes an option for adult smokers is a growing public-health worry for governments in Canada and abroad.

The fate of flavours is among the most contested issues in the debate over how to regulate the vaping industry. Health advocates say flavours, which include cake, candy and ice cream, are attracting young people. However the e-cigarette industry, which has invested in significant lobbying efforts, says adult users are also drawn by flavours and a ban would destroy the market. Industry members say flavours are an important tool that can help convince existing adult smokers to try vaping, which Health Canada says is less harmful than smoking.

“Many adults who are using vaping as a smoking-cessation tool like flavours, so this is something that we are still studying,” Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said Monday, referring to a possible ban of flavoured e-cigarettes.

In a follow-up e-mail, Hayley Chazan, a spokeswoman for Ms. Elliott, said the minister had heard from “a specialty vape-store owner that her customers have said that flavoured vaping products helped them quit smoking.”

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Carly Weeks – Globe and Mail – November 18, 2019.

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