Restrictions on flavours in vaping products would be a "drastic setback" in the battle to reduce the 48,000 Canadian lives lost every year to smoking, according to a study released by a lobby group called E-Cigarette Research.
The study says e-cigarette flavourings are “inextricably linked” to smoking cessation and should be made more accessible and affordable to adults trying to quit.
The Canadian government has initiated the process of banning most flavoured vaping products. The Health Canada regulation will prohibit flavours other than tobacco, menthol and mint.
The website says the government "aims to protect Canadians from nicotine addiction and from inducements to use tobacco and, in particular for youth, from vaping products use."
“Well-regulated use of flavours can and should be considered as a valuable tool to help prevent disease and save the lives of adult smokers who cannot or will not quit by themselves or with other approved methods,” says report author Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, a cardiologist with a career devoted to tobacco harm reduction.
The report examines the science, consumer insights, risks and regulatory considerations related to e-cigarettes.
“We’re at a crossroads where policymakers are about to turn away from the evidence showing flavours help smokers transition to products that carry only a fraction of the risk of combustible cigarettes, thereby preventing disease and saving lives,” said Dr. Farsalinos.
"“If bans were allowed, it would ultimately drive consumers to tampering, illicitly traded products, towards the black market, or back to traditional cigarettes.”
E-cigarettes, otherwise known as nicotine vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), are now the overriding method of choice for smokers who want to quit, says the report.
A news release claims studies show users of flavoured e-cigarettes are up to three times more successful.
The review says 130,000 deaths could be avoided between 2012 and 2052 if Canadian smokers switched to vaping.
The report points out that flavours are used to improve the efficacy of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products, such as lozenges and gums, which feature on the World Health Organization's (WHO) list of essential medicines.
“Surely, if the WHO considers flavourings an essential anti-smoking tool in nicotine lozenges, the same should apply for consumer acceptance in nicotine vaping products,” said Dr. Farsalinos.
The report recommends better access and affordability for quitting tools such as flavoured vapes “through proportionate, risk-based regulation and robust monitoring”."
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Citations: Vaping flavour bans will put lives at risk, says lobby group. Sudbury.com. (n.d.). Retrieved January 7, 2022, from https://www.sudbury.com/beyond-local/vaping-flavour-bans-will-put-lives-at-risk-says-lobby-group-4918947