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Is Alberta’s E-Cig Bill Striking the Right Balance?


Vaping products are electronic devices that contain nicotine and flavorings. People use them to produce vapor. Vaping products can be nicotine-free. Nowadays, most people use vaping products for enjoying or smoking cessation, or since they are less harmless than traditional cigarettes. However, some countries are bringing a ban on vaping products, which makes no sense. 

The Canadian province of Alberta has brought a vape law that bans minors from purchasing e-cigarettes whereas allowing flavored product sales. After the introduction of the amended Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act, Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro said that flavored vaping products was not banned yet, but might be added: “down the road”. She added, “Strong action needs to be taken to address significant increases in youth vaping”, and introduced Bill 19.

Teen Vaping Rates

This bill follows a report that included vaping data gathered from over 75,000 students in Grades 9 to 12 in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec released last December, and it indicated an important increase in teen vaping among high school students. According to this report, almost one-third of all high school students in Alberta and Quebec, and one in four in Ontario said that they had used vaping products in the past month.

For this reason, Bill 19 has banned minors from buying vape products and imposes harsh penalties on violators. An article on The Province is referring to Bill 19, as striking the right balance. “Bill 19 aims to amend the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act to include new restrictions and regulations for vaping products, specifically around where and how they can be sold and used.”

Not having been banned flavors (yet) is the main reason for the presumed balance. “With regard to the latter, the absence of a ban on flavored vaping products is seen as a glaring oversight at best and a fatal flaw at worst. The bill gives the province the authority to consider such restrictions in the future but holds off doing so for now.”

The “Cool Factor” vs Flavors

Fortunately, the article quotes recent studies indicating that social reasons such as “cool factor” encourage most teens to use vaping products, not flavors.

“A study published earlier this month by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health found that smokers who switched to flavored vaping products were more than twice as likely to quit cigarettes compared to those who used tobacco-flavored vaping products.”

“In other words, the lack of a ban on flavored vaping products does not render Bill 19 a failure or useless. It’s actually quite in keeping with the intent of striking a reasonable balance.”

According to previous information, vape products are safer traditional cigarettes, and people tend to use vape products when they quit smoking. Banning vaping products will be increasing the number of smokers which is worse than anything else, and the reason why the rate of teen vaping among high school students increased is the “cool factor”. Besides, it is known that most e-cigarette users never go back to smoking.