Well being teams within the Maritimes are questioning the tobacco trade’s use of ‘Nationwide Non-Smoking Week’ to advertise vaping.
The week was established greater than 40 years in the past by well being organizations together with the Canadian Most cancers Society, the Coronary heart and Stroke Basis and the Canadian Lung Affiliation which had been involved about what they referred to as “a tobacco epidemic.”
In a information launch issued this week, Imperial Tobacco Canada, whose manufacturers embrace Du Maurier, Participant’s and Vuse, framed vaping as a safer choice to cigarettes, citing many years of analysis they’ve invested in and statements by nationwide well being our bodies.
“Once you take a look at immediately’s actuality, I imagine it’s time that we predict past the standard methods now we have approached non-smoking,” stated Eric Gagnon, Imperial’s vice-president of company and regulatory affairs. “Let’s ask ourselves: does the idea of ‘non-smoking’ must be zero-sum? Does it must be give up or die? Or can it additionally embrace changing cigarettes with a much less dangerous various?”
Gagnon informed the Instances & Transcript that the corporate is making an attempt to “generate a correct debate.” He stated authorities regulation must open up so vaping merchandise can obtain their “full potential in harm-reduction,” citing flavour bans and nicotine caps in vaping merchandise as counter-intuitive.
However Stéphane Robichaud, CEO of the New Brunswick Well being Council, stated the perspective that vaping just isn’t inflicting an excessive amount of hurt itself is harmful and outdated. He want to see different packages and strategies elevated throughout Non-Smoking Week as a substitute, packages comparable to these via Horizon Well being which will use medicine, dialogue and different methods to assist customers give up each smoking and vaping.
“Within the final 18 to 24 months, science has been constructing that [vaping is] not a protected various,“ Robichaud stated. “Now we have seen a rise in youth experimenting in vaping … [and] diseases together with persistent lung circumstances have been important.”
Kelly Cull, director of advocacy in Atlantic Canada for the Canadian Most cancers Society, stated the group is advocating for governments to proceed to take a position cash in nicotine substitute remedy, counselling and peer assist packages.
Vaping, one thing that framed itself as a software to quit smoking, has more and more been used as a gateway to start out smoking, Robichaud stated, pointing to will increase in vape use by New Brunswick college students in grades six to 12 between 2016 and 2018, in keeping with the council’s Pupil Wellness Survey.
Numbers from the 2018-19 Canadian Pupil Tobacco Alcohol and Drug Survey are alarming, Cull stated, with 41 per cent of New Brunswick youth indicating that they had tried vaping, 27 per cent within the final 30 days.
New Brunswick already has extra younger individuals vaping than the nationwide common, Cull stated, however measures much like what have been launched elsewhere within the Maritimes, limiting flavours and introducing a nicotine ceiling, for instance, may assist curb that.
Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have each handed laws to scale back the enchantment of vaping, introducing flavour bans and a nicotine ceiling in merchandise.
Imperial doesn’t need to see that occur in New Brunswick, stated Gagnon. Whereas the corporate is in favour of efforts to scale back their merchandise falling into the arms of younger individuals, flavours, comparable to fruit flavours, are additionally vital for interesting to grownup people who smoke, he stated, noting that in the event that they’re not obtainable, there must be concern these making an attempt to give up will return to cigarettes.
Ceiling caps and flavour bans have already contributed to vape outlets closing in Nova Scotia, he stated.