New Brunswick’s rushed flavour ban fails to consider the consequences

Beamsville, ON, June 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) is deeply saddened by New Brunswick’s decision to ban flavoured vape products. The CVA warned the province that banning flavoured products would be ineffective for youth protection and would cause a spike in smoking rates and black-market products. Unfortunately, regulators largely refused to engage on the issue and rushed to pass the ill-conceived ban.

Not only has New Brunswick failed the adult smokers that rely on flavoured products to remain smoke-free, but it has also failed to consider the economic costs of the policy. Specialty vape shops are small family run businesses, and their survival is dependent on flavoured products. Unlike the products sold in convenience stores, specialty store products rely on flavours to convert smokers. The flavour ban will result in the closure of dozens of small businesses, broken lease agreements and approximately 200 lost jobs. The destruction of these small businesses comes at a time when local economies are especially fragile after months of COVID related shutdowns.

While well intentioned, the flavour ban will do little to protect youth as surveys find that most youth are acquiring vape products through social sourcing and foreign websites. There is also little evidence to suggest that flavour bans are effective for preventing youth use. Following Juul’s removal of flavours in the US, youth did not stop vaping but instead switched to tobacco, mint and menthol flavours. Additionally, there has yet to be any data to suggest Nova Scotia’s flavour ban had any impact on youth vaping rates.

“We are saddened that another province has refused to take the time to get vaping regulation right. This decision was made using flawed and, in some cases, completely inaccurate information about vaping. As a final warning to the province, a new study has found that San Francisco, an early adopter of flavour bans, has had a 30% increase in youth smoking rates. I will be sending an official letter to the Premier ensuring that when the results of San Francisco are replicated in New Brunswick, the Premier acknowledges responsibility as a supporter of this bill,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA.

The CVA has shared the research and the science on vaping. This government has knowingly and willingly ignored the facts. The result of the ban will be a flood of black-market products, an increase in cigarette sales and smoking related deaths. These consequences must be acknowledged.

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