Vaping News

Canadian Government Ignores Evidence

A Canadian government document worries about teen vaping but ignores the latest findings from a Montreal-based study

Share on:
The Canadian government has published a document titled “Towards a Canadian evidence base to inform action to prevent and control vaping in Canada”. The authors express their worries about teenage vaping, but in doing so they ignore the findings of a recent Montreal-based longitudinal study.

Published on the government’s website, Cynthia Callard, Thierry Gagné, and Jennifer O’Loughlin talk about an “upsurge” in vaping, “rapidly changing technologies, shifting usage patterns and contradictory evidence”.

What is shocking is that the trio admit a wholesale lack of “homegrown evidence”, instead relying on “the experience of and evidence in other countries”. No wonder then that instead of promising so much in the beginning, Canada has veered off course and begun to mirror the evidence-free hysteria from south of the border.

For some reason, they worry about the “mind-boggling diversity of the online e-cigarette market in Canada in terms of nicotine concentration, availability of higher-concentration salt-base nicotine products, and flavours”. Some may wonder if they are reduced to tears when entering a supermarket and seeing the range of products available for sale.

They point to two papers concerned with “vaping initiation and daily use among Canadian youth”, that highlight “ease of access in addition to the constellation of vulnerabilities underpinning substance use in general, as evidenced by the close associations between vaping and other risk-taking behaviours such as cigarette smoking and use of alcohol, energy drinks and marijuana.”

The authors argue there is a “growing number of Canadian publications on youth vaping highlight that some young people are at particularly high risk of initiating and continuing use.

How strange it is that a Montreal longitudinal study shows barely any rise in initiation and use of products over a period of time where the public was undergoing the ravages of Covid-19 and lockdown measures.

The nominal one percentage point increase in use was restricted to those of low education and living alone, 84.0% of electronic cigarette users experienced no change in usage patterns.

Given that the study was funded by the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Institutes of Health, it is surprising that no reference has been made to the findings. And, worse, that claims are being made diametrically opposed to this paper’s.

Instead, Callard, Gagné, and O’Loughlin talk about the prospect of pointless plain packaging  and the implementation of nonsensical full bans on vaping flavours. Then they go full Australian and make the call: “The option of limiting ENDS products to a therapeutic supply (for quitting or harm reduction) should be further explored.”

Canadian smokers and ex-smokers deserve so much better than this regressive, evidence-denying nonsense.


Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

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.

Join the discussion

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

CAPHRA Highlights Tobacco Control Flaws

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates highlights the flaws in tobacco control which has led to the rise of black market in Australia

Vaping News

A Missed Opportunity at COP10

The Smoke Free Sweden movement says that COP10 was a missed opportunity to save millions of lives

Vaping News

COP10: Promote Tobacco Harm Reduction

Experts with Smoke Free Sweden are emphasising the urgent need for a Tobacco Harm Reduction approach at COP10