E-cigarettes and vape pens are two names to describe Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), whose industry has steadily surged in recent years as many buyers continue to choose vaping over conventional cigarette smoking.
According to Statista, as of last month, ENDS and their fillers such as vaping pods, e-liquids, & nicotine salt, have brought in 1.26 Billion US dollars in revenue so far for Canada, and the industry's revenue is projected to continue to rise annually.
But some believe the opposite could happen, thanks to layers of taxes the industry has been slapped with including the Federal government's excise duty which is scheduled to begin on October 1st, and Health Canada’s proposal to ban many flavoured vape products in an effort to protect youth from vaping.
At first glance, those who don’t know much about the vaping industry aside from reports on vaping being harmful for kids may see the taxes and potential bans as a step in the right direction to increase public health by making it less comfortable for people to vape. However, in today's report, I sit down to interview Brent Stafford, the CEO and founder of an independent media company called Regulator Watch who has covered the other side of this debate extensively.
“It’s going to be equivalent to almost a 100% increase on vaping” said Stafford, in relation to the federal government's upcoming excise duty tax. This is a regulation that Stafford not only believes could be detrimental to the industry and the jobs it provides but will also be harmful for the health of many Canadians.
“Nicotine vaping is the single most effective tool to quit smoking,” Stafford added during our interview. A claim that is supported by the findings in a randomized 2019 study published in the New England Medical Journal which found that participants who used ENDS to try to quit smoking versus nicotine replacement therapies such as gums and patches were more likely to have stopped smoking when checked on 1 year later.
Adding to this angle of debate surrounding taxations and bans on vaping is a recent article put out by Yale News which states that increased taxation on vape products will most likely lead to more young adults smoking cigarettes. The conclusion of such comes from a research report published earlier this month in the Journal Addiction which found that “In the United States, higher ENDS tax rates are associated with decreased ENDS use but increased cigarette smoking among 18 to 25-year-olds, with associations reversed for cigarette taxes.” The findings bring into question whether or not a similar trend would be found in Canadian youth who manage to find a way to vape without the law permitting them to do so.
If increased taxes and bans on the vape industry are likely to result in both job and public health losses, why has the Government of Canada and some of its provinces kept up with regulations that have been coined as a “war on vaping?”
You can click on the full video report to hear more from Stafford who has interviewed over 100 researchers including doctors of medicine about the social and health impacts such regulations have had on the vaping industry.
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