Thanks to an increase in vaping, between 2019 and 2020 in Canada there was a 40% drop in smoking rates
The Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey has recently revealed that thanks to an increase in vaping, between 2019 and 2020 there was a 40% drop in smoking rates among young adults, from 13.3% to 8%. This figure is encouraging for Health Canada’s smoking prevalence target of 5% for 2035. Moreover the target has already been achieved among those aged 15-19, as the smoking rate is currently no more than 5%.
Despite this, a recent press release by the Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) revealed that the Canadian Government has proposed a ban on vape flavours with the exception of tobacco, mint, and menthol.
Discussing the recently implemented flavour ban in the province of New Brunswick, the Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) said the measure had been “rushed,” and highlighted there is “little evidence” that flavour bans actually reduce youth consumption. Additionally said the group, the enactment of such bans in other regions has had dire outcomes. “The result of the ban will be a flood of black-market products, an increase in cigarette sales and smoking-related deaths. These consequences must be acknowledged.”
With regards to the ban proposed on a national level, Health Canada itself has admitted that an expanding black market may be a possible and likely consequence. Moreover, explains the episode on RegWatch, when policymakers implement restrictions to reduce the access of nicotine vaping products to youth, inevitably, these interventions have an equivalent impact on adult consumers.
San Francisco’s vape flavour bans has just led to increased smoking rates
Substantiating these arguments, data from San Francisco, the first US city to ban vape flavours has in line with expert predictions indicated that the measure has just led to teens reverting from vaping to smoking.
Besides facing significant opposition from the tobacco industry and retailers leading up to the final days of the 2019-20 Legislative Session, SF’s flavour ban had also been met with concern by public health experts who predicted that it would drive teens back to smoking regular cigarettes.
Similarly, the city’s chief economist, Ted Egan, whose office is charged with analyzing the economic impact of legislations in San Francisco, had confirmed that the ban would only lead to increased smoking rates. And sadly, data keep confirming this.
A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that following San Francisco’s flavour ban, teenagers in the city’s high schools were more likely to take up smoking than teenagers in US school districts where no flavour bans were imposed. While prior to the ban, smoking rates in San Francisco were similar to that of many cities across the country.
Vape Bans Are Contributing to an Ever Expanding Black Market