Quebec judge rules in-store ban illegal among other things after a challenge from vaping advocacy groups.
Life as a vaper is a near constant battle with regulations. What’s worse is these laws are continually being added, changed, or sometimes removed. It can be quite challenging to keep track of the current vaping regulations where you live, let alone across the country or world. There’s no lack of discussion over the value vaporizers provide, with both sides of the debate having strong opinions on the topic. Unfortunately, the loudest and most well-established sources are often the same ones that spread misleading and primarily anecdotal evidence against the acceptance of e-cigarettes. It’s so bad that it can often be very discouraging to be a vaping advocate in the face of all this doubt. However, in at least one place vaping advocacy has directly led to a reversal on several measures.
A judge in Quebec recently shot down portions of a controversial law, sending shockwaves through the vaping industry. The news was met with varied reactions, with anti-vapers blasting the decision as advocates celebrate the victory. Many hope this is a sign of changing momentum, as we get a clearer picture of the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of e-cigarettes. More importantly, vapers hope this move will lead to similar victories in other countries.
It was just last week reports indicated a Quebec judge, Justice Daniel Dumais, shot down parts of a bill vapers have been fighting for years. In fact, it was all the way back in 2015 that the legislation was first formally adopted by the government of Quebec. Fast forward to this week, and the judge ruled that while portions of the ban are legal, others must be redacted as soon as possible. For instance, the province is within its rights to regulate vaping, but banning demonstrations in vape shops or similar environments was ruled to be taking things too far. It also allows a business to once again market their vaporizers to adults looking to quit smoking. The court granted for a six month period in which legislators must rework the regulation without the now-illegal portions.
The most important part of this latest development for vapers is the proof that advocacy can get things done. It was actually legal challenges brought on by vaping advocacy groups which led to the updated law. Over ten days last December Justice Dumais heard the case from vaping groups which argued many parts of current vaping regulations violate their rights. While it’s unclear if the same results can be replicated everywhere, this development proves advocacy on the right topic can genuinely lead to positive things for vapers.
The Case For Vaping
It’s not all that hard to understand how the vaping industry won their case. After all, there is a growing pile of independent research which indicates vaping is an extremely useful tool. In fact, going back to 2015 we have our first report which concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. That report by Public Health England was a big deal at the time, but these days we get that sort of result often. Just a few months back researchers concluded the toxicants in cigarette smoke are about 93% higher than e-liquid vapor. But the true level of harm reduction provided by vaping is most evident when you consider the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is about 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
Looking past the general harm reduction value and there’s still plenty to love about e-cigarettes. For instance, reports indicate not only is vaping a useful smoking cessation tool, but it may actually be more likely to succeed than anything else. That’s what researchers at the University of Louisville concluded when they tested all the most common smoking cessation methods and aids, ranging from cold turkey through prescription drugs. But for many, the biggest reason to fight against vaping is the supposed impact they have on teens. Luckily, the reports we have on this subject paint a much less dire picture. In fact, a report of over 60,000 teens by Action on Smoking and Health concluded as few as 0.1% of non-smoking teens are ever ending up a vaper, let alone making the jump to combustible cigarettes.
Vapers in Quebec may not have gotten the full repeal they were looking for, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a cause for celebration. In fact, I’d argue that this is a massive step in the right direction for vaping, as it proves properly utilized advocacy can lead to real change for millions of vapers. If we can build on this momentum, we may one day end the tobacco epidemic once and for all. Smoking still kills more people every year than any other preventable cause, so it’s as important as ever that we identify and utilize all our best smoking cessation options.
Do you think it’s a big win for this vaping bill to be partially repealed? What’s the most important thing to remember about vaping? How should we be working to spread positive information to those around us? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.