Good news is coming to vapers in Ontario, Canada, as the provincial government of Ontario has put on hold changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act 2017, that were meant to come into effect on July 1, 2018.
Yesterday, Markets Insider has published an article which pointed out that emails received by vaping industry stakeholders have indicated that “…the government plans to work with the public, experts and businesses to re-examine the evidence related to vaping as a smoking cessation tool to ensure that any changes are in the best interests of everyone and protect Ontarians’ health and safety.”
It said that the fact that the local authorities are willing to consider what the regulations would actually bring about before implementing them is a step the right direction by Spokesperson for Vaping Advocates Ontario (VAO) Maria Papaioannoy-Duic. “We’re excited that the government lead by Premier Doug Ford and new Health Minister Christine Elliott have recognized our efforts and have paused the implementation of these regulations. We have the utmost confidence that they are going to look at the regulations based on science and not guesswork,” she said.
Vaping groups are eager to cooperate with Ontario’s government.
The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) and the Electronic Cigarette Trade Association (ECTA) have also expressed their eagerness to continue collaborating with local governments on all levels. “The provincial regulations need to align with Health Canada’s stance on vaping as a less harmful alternative to smoking to ensure the industry is clear on the legal expectations from both levels of government,” said CVA President Shaun Casey.
The fact is that studies keep indicating that as vaping rates rise, smoking rates drop, hence sensible vaping regulations will reduce the burden on the health system which addresses smoking as Ontario’s number one cause of preventable death.
“Our goal is to work with the Ontario government in the same fashion as we continue to do with Health Canada and the federal government. We are working towards a framework of regulations that keep vapor products accessible to adult smokers looking to support harm reduction through specialty shops where they can safely sample products and receive training on their devices from experts in an adult-only environment,” added Casey.
ECTA President Daniel David said that local lawmakers recognize that vaping should be regulated differently than smoking is important: “We are optimistic that Ontario’s government will give us a chance to contribute to the development of new regulations that will benefit all stakeholders. Vaping should not be regulated like tobacco and we are thankful that they recognize the Smoke-Free Ontario Act 2017 needs to be re-evaluated.”
Canada may be catching up with the UK
Public health experts will be happy to see Canada catching up with the UK in relation to vaping regulations. About 900,000 vapers in Ontario and studies keep indicating that where vaping rates rise, smoking rates drop. Sensible vaping regulations will encourage many smokers to change to the safer alternatives and reduce the burden on the health system, which recognizes smoking as Ontario’s number one cause of preventable death.