Canada: Some Vape Stores Use Loophole to Draw Minors Into Their Shops

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The complaint by the Coalition explained that at least two vape store chains in the greater Montreal area and some stores in Quebec City have placed child friendly candy and beverages in their displays, so that under Quebec law, they fall under the ordinary outlets category like convenience stores.

This means that these retailers can allow minors into their stores, whilst continuing to advertise themselves as vape stores. Cision explained that this transformation came about shortly after the Quebec Court of Appeal rejected the vaping industry’s challenge to several measures in the Quebec law, including the ban on displays of vaping products as well as the ban on the sale of products other than e-cigarettes in vaping specialty stores.

“The transformation of specialty stores that offer only vaping products into businesses that also specialize in offering candy is clearly a business calculation. They obviously believe that there would be greater financial benefits in exposing young people to the offer of vaping products surrounded by candy flavors compared to simply serving a clientele of adult vapers,” says Flory Doucas, spokesperson for the Coalition.

Quebec’s proposed vape tax

Meanwhile, the Canadian Vape Association (CVA) is highlighting that Quebec raising the local vape tax to match the federal one, nudges smokers back in the wrong direction. Canada’s federal levy on e-liquids at $5 for the first 10mL in any sealed container, and $1 per 10mL for additional liquid in the container, sadly removes an incentive for those smokers who are trying to quit by switching to a safer and cheaper alternative. The CVA highlighted that vaping being more affordable was one of the advantages for smokers considering switching.

“Vaping products offer the 3.8 million Canadians who smoke a less harmful source of nicotine than tobacco products, and do help people to stop smoking,” said the Honourable Minister Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Health Minister.

Harsh vape taxes just lead to an increase in cigarette sales

In line with the CVA’s arguments, a new paper published in the Journal of Health Economics suggests says that setting harsh vape taxes just leads to an increase in cigarette sales.

A group of researchers including US leading tobacco economist Michael Pesko, a leading tobacco economist in the United States tracked the weekly sales of a large percentage of national retailers and the total sales among drug stores, food stores, dollar stores, club stores and mass merchandisers.

The compiled data indicated that the burden of vape taxes is felt mostly by consumers as the tax tends to be translated into higher consumer prices. Moreover they found, this increase in retail price meant that most vapers reverted back to purchasing cigarettes. “Our study finds that for every one Juul-sized e-cigarette eliminated as a result of an e-cigarette tax, 1.9 packs [of cigarettes] are purchased instead,” said Pesko.

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