VITA Hires Mark Tyndall as Harm Reduction Advisor

OTTAWA, ON – The Vaping Industry Trade Association (VITA) announced today that they have engaged Dr. Mark Tyndall, an internationally recognized expert in public health, harm reduction and drug policy, as the Harm Reduction advisor to the Association.

“VITA is committed to collaborating with Health Canada and other regulatory bodies to inform current and future evidence-based regulation,” said Daniel David, President and CEO of VITA. “We look forward to working with Dr. Tyndall so we can collectively strengthen Canadians’ understanding of vaping products, while ensuring the public health benefits of vaping remain available for adult smokers who want a less harmful alternative to cigarette smoking.”

Dr. Tyndall is the former Executive Director of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and former deputy provincial health officer for B.C. He is a Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine at the School of Population and Public Health. His research looks at addiction, poverty, homeless, drug policy and harm reduction, with a focus on community-based innovation.

“I was first introduced to the concept of vaping as a substitute for cigarette smoking in 2012 while working in Ottawa. Both my clinical and research work focused on people who used “hard” drugs and they all smoked cigarettes. It was clear to everyone that smoking caused more sickness and death than all of the other drugs combined, but we were doing nothing about it. Vaping was the perfect harm reduction strategy as a replacement for cigarettes and I knew a lot about harm reduction,” Dr. Tyndall said. “Vaping may not be risk free but is it far less harmful than smoking, and we should be promoting that.”

Health Canada has said vaping is less harmful than smoking and there are short-term general health improvements if you switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping products.
Dr. Tyndall will advise VITA on how to promote vaping as a harm reduction strategy for people who smoke cigarettes and help with the interpretation and application of emerging scientific evidence on vaping to support VITA’s commitment to strong safety standards, strict quality control, and encouraging the responsible use of vaping products by adult smokers trying to quit.

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