Vapers challenge Kathleen Wynne government regulations.
When my husband and I decided to open our doors to our first business, we never believed that 2 plus years later we would be embattled into a crazy tug and war with the Ontario government over the right on how we run our business. You see, we are the owners of The Ecig Flavourium and we sell electronic cigarettes. E-cigarettes mimic the experience of smoking tobacco by vaporizing a liquid that may contain nicotine. Since the introduction of Bill 45, and schedule 3 The Electonic Cigarette Act, vapers across this province have been embroiled in a battle with the provincial government about the right to use our products in our stores, dedicated vape shops.
On Saturday, April 9th we joined Vapor Advocates of Ontario (a grass roots advocacy group comprised of consumers and business owners who want the government to support their constitutional right to use and sell vaping products in a safe and effective manner) and participated in a protest that brought hundreds of vapers from across Ontario that marched from Bay-Bloor to Queen’s Park. Waving signs that read, “Tobacco kills, vaping saves lives” and “I quit smoking through vaping.”.
We had advocates take to the stage and share compelling stories of how they quit smoking using these products. We heard how governments in the UK have embraced the electronic cigarette industry, and stand behind the science that they are 95% less harmful then cigarettes! The message was clear, that vaping is not smoking, and the Wynne government needs to address this and adapt their proposed regulations to suit the science. By arbitrarily force-fitting vapor with combustibles like tobacco, these proposed regulations stigmatizing a proven harm reduction strategy for people looking to curb their smoking habit. It is estimated that over 100,000 Canadians have quit smoking cigarettes through vaping, but the Wynne Government is trying to forbid business owners like ourselves, from helping our customers, by allowing them to sample and use the products inside of shops like ours.