OTTAWA, March, 11 2021 – Thousands of Canadians have responded to Health Canada’s proposed 70% reduction in maximum nicotine concentration in vaping products to share their view that this is the wrong approach.
Vaping is widely recognized as significantly less harmful than smoking and has helped hundreds of thousands of adult Canadians reduce their risk. VITA believes that a sudden and significant reduction in nicotine levels will lower the efficacy of vaping as a tobacco harm reduction product and will jeopardize Canada’s goal of reducing smoking rates to 5% or less by 2035.
“Evidence has shown that vaping is not only significantly less harmful than smoking, but that it is also an effective tool to help adult smokers who have been unable to quit smoking using other methods”, said Daniel David, VITA President. “The 2021 evidence review from Public Health England compared the efficacy of vaping to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in England and found that vaping was approximately twice as effective in encouraging quitting smoking.”
When Nova Scotia instituted a 20 mg/ml nicotine cap, combined with a flavour ban, sales data, coupled with the lived experience of local retailers showed that legal cigarette sales increased significantly compared to surrounding provinces. VITA is concerned that this will be repeated nationally if these regulations are put into force: A risk that Health Canada clearly recognizes in their regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS).
“Health Canada clearly states that this reduction in efficacy will cause adult vapers to return to smoking”, said Allan Rewak, Executive Director. “62% of all nicotine containing vaping products currently sold across Canada are above the proposed threshold, and many former smokers will find lower nicotine content less satisfying, likely resulting in many returning to cigarettes.”
VITA believes that a balanced approach must be found that ensures the continued availability of viable reduced risk products, while also taking a highly focused and targeted approach to punishing anyone providing nicotine vaping products to youth.
 Government of Canada, Canada Gazette, https://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2020/2020-12-19/html/reg3-eng.html, December 19th, 2021.
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