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New Canadian Premier Pauses Anti-Vaping Laws

New Canadian Premier Pauses Anti-Vaping Laws

 


Ontario Premier Doug Ford halted new anti-vapor laws that went into effect on July 1 in order for the regulations to undergo review by his newly elected Progressive Conservative government, according to a report from The Star. This new government has promised to review provisions with an important distinction: a focus on harm reduction.


Before Ford was elected on July 7, former premier Kathleen Wynne of the Liberal party introduced additional provisions to add to the already-existing Smoke Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act. These changes included a ban on smoking and vaping of medicinal marijuana, and would put in place strict limits on the use, sale and advertising of all vapor products.


“The changes to the Smoke Free Ontario Act that were set to come into effect on July 1… are being paused to give the new government the opportunity to carefully review the new regulations related to vaping,” Ford’s spokesman Simon Jefferies said on Wednesday.


Jefferies also told The Star that health was the top priority, promising to reevaluate the provisions, putting more emphasis on “considering smoking to vaping”:


“The government will cooperate and consult with the public, experts and enterprises to review the evidence, consider vaping to smoking, to ensure that the changes will benefit everyone and protect the health and safety of residents of the province,” he stated to the paper.


This subtle shift by the government has been celebrated by the vapor industry, who say that this pause on implementing these regulations is a win for the nearly 900,000 vapers in the province. Multiple local industry advocates and executives lavished praise on the new government’s positions.


“We’re excited that the government led by Premier Doug Ford and new Health Minister Christine Elliott (has) recognized our efforts and (has) paused the implementation of these regulations,” said Maria Papaioannoy-Duic of Vapor Advocates of Ontario.


Canadian Vaping Association’s president Shaun Casey said that the goal of the industry is to towards a new framework that focuses on adults and harm-reduction.


“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,” Casey said.  


While it’s unclear yet what changes will come from reevaluating the new anti-vaping laws, but suspending them temporarily and vowing to take a more harm-reduction approach to regulation is a big step in the right direction. To many vapor advocates, this was the best possible outcome of a new election and a testament to their advocacy and lobbying campaigns.   

acuity