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Canadians protest Loi 45 anti-vaping bill

Bad laws make for unhappy vapers. Unhappy vapers protest. This is our future.

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Wales remains one of the few places where common sense has won out over stupid legislation, in other places vapers have not got off so lucky. But then legislators can always return to attempt a second bite of the ban cherry. The Canadian reaction to the ridiculous Loi 45 has been swift.

“I came out to protect my rights. I just think we should have the right to make our own choices in this world and not be dictated to by policies.” It was a small gathering in Thunder Bay, Ontario, of just four people – but these were four very angry people. Darrin Holman, one of the quartet, is a vaper like most of us. He used to smoke up to 30 cigarettes a day and he struggled to quit using traditional methods. That was until he tried by using an electronic cigarette thirteen weeks ago.

Holman, like his colleagues, is a victim of the Loi 45 that we covered last week on POTV News. So too is Frank Lesnick. Frank runs a vape store – a vape store that now has to cover up all of its stock. A vape store where unless a customer can guess exactly what is in stock and asks for it specifically, Frank is banned from telling people what he has for sale.

It’s like a re-run of the 1980’s hysteria over video nasties where a nod and a wink would illicit something in a bag from under the counter. It’s a dystopian vision of how vape life could be in the UK after the Tobacco Products Directive. A future where the revenue generated by failing replacement products and cigarettes is more important than a revolutionary technology that saves lives.

An 863 mile drive around the edge of Lakes Superior and Huron takes you from Thunder Bay to Toronto.  It’s an hour and a half flight away where we can trade our handful of protesters for a mass demonstration. The crowd of hundreds were chanting at the idiocy of a law that criminalises normal people – normal people like us who are committing the crime of seeking to improve their health. The inane position where the act of making an informed choice is so threatening to politicians they have made it illegal.

The Vapor Advocates of Ontario arranged the event to slam home the fact that vaping is not smoking. To proclaim with righteous anger that Bill 45, just like our TPD, is an ill-considered piece of legislation that will damage lives and kill businesses.

“Policymakers and legislators have focused on the moralistic goal of achieving a tobacco-free world rather than taking concrete steps to reduce death and disease,” says David Sweanor, professor of law at the University of Ottawa. “We're just telling people 'Thou Shalt Not' and it doesn't make any public health sense. We could virtually eliminate the risk by getting rid of the smoke.”

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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