Toronto, Ontario– October 25, 2019 –The Alberta Government announced that it will be considering a tax on vaping products in 2020, reneging on the commitment it made less than a year ago to not tax vaping products.
The application of a provincial excise on vaping in Alberta would be the first of its kind of and would drastically undermine the migration of smokers towards less harmful alternatives and encourage the use of products obtains through illegal channels- exposing vapers to considerable risk.
Despite announcing that the “we do not intend to introduce new taxes on products that area already illegal for minors to obtain” early in its tenure, the United Conservative Party has switched gears in an apparent reaction to falling revenues. Their announcement comes in advance of Health Canada’s regulations and its own tobacco review.
“The Government of Alberta has a duty to ensure access to affordable, less harmful alternatives to smoking” said Mike Meathrel, Chairman of VITA, an industry trade association for vaping. “An excise tax on vaping, as it is imposed on tobacco, would be detrimental and counterproductive to health outcome goals and may lead to much of the industry going underground.”
The application of a tax when there is a thriving illicit vaping market south of the border would only encourage vapers to purchase their products form unregulated and illegitimate channels. “With these channels being blamed for the spate of vaping-related illnesses in the United States, a tax on the legal market when there is a known risk in the parallel illegal market could backfire,” said Meathrel.
“The vaping industry’s voice needs to be heard on this important issue, and we look forward to being a part of the Alberta tobacco review an industry representatives and as harm reduction advocates. We steadfastly support measures pertaining to youth access. And we want to be solution-focused and work with governments at all levels to address them.”
VITA will continue to engage the Government of Alberta on this and other important vaping issues in a productive and transparent manner.
Daniel David, President & CEO
Vaping Industry Trade Association (VITA)
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