Dr. Akbar Khan discusses Ontario’s ban on in-store sampling in the CBC

Amidst all the commotion in the immediate aftermath of the horrific car-ramming attack in Toronto on April 23, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government quietly posted regulations that will have a profound effect on how easy it is for adult smokers to switch to electronic cigarettes. When the new regulations come into effect on July 1, Ontarians will be banned from vaping within adult-only specialty vape shops, meaning that people will no longer be able to test devices or sample flavours. Writing for the CBC, The CVA’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Akbar Khan, explains why this policy makes no sense from a public-health perspective:

With little fanfare late last month, the Ontario government under Premier Kathleen Wynne moved ahead with regulations that will have a profound impact on the ability for adult smokers to switch to electronic cigarettes. When the new regulations come into force — which the government just announced will happen on July 1 — they will paradoxically erect roadblocks to the province’s goal of creating a smoke-free Ontario.

One of the most troubling aspects of the new rules is a ban on using e-cigarettes indoors, including in adult-only vape shops. This makes no sense. Users need to be able to properly try out products. Yet the indoor vaping ban will effectively prevent consenting adult cigarette smokers from testing out e-cigarettes in a vape shop.

To some, this might seem like no big deal. But in order for people to successfully transition from smoking to vaping, they need a lot of information. Vape shop employees need to be able to show people how to use the devices, and customers need to be able to sample the various devices and flavours in order to find something that will satiate their cravings. Otherwise, people tend to give up and go back to cigarette smoking.

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