EU Parliament to endorse vaping as a way to quit smoking

The European Parliament on Wednesday became the first elected chamber anywhere in the world to endorse tobacco harm reduction.
Parliament adopted – by a margin of 652 votes to 15 – a report on Cancer prevention and Treatment which notes that “electronic cigarettes could allow some smokers to progressively quit smoking”. [1]
Parliament also rejected attempts by one political faction to water down the draft report’s important harm reduction declaration.
This is crucial because many studies have shown that vaping has a much lower potential for harm than smoking. According to Public Health England (PHE), e-cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful than tobacco and the risk of cancer drops by 99.6 percent. [2]
Dustin Dahlmann, President of IEVA, said:

“This is a landmark declaration by the European Parliament, which should go a long way to reassuring smokers of the health benefits that a switch to vaping can bring. We now encourage the other EU institutions – and in particular the European Commission – to take this on board and ensure that policy follows science, not the other way around”.

In addition to many important measures to reduce cancer incidence, the committee’s report places a special focus on the serious health effects of smoking.
The report also stresses the need for further research on vaping to be viewed in relative terms, given that tobacco smoking kills and vaping does not.
Vaping must remain attractive
The final text of the report also includes a mention of further assessment of flavors “particularly attractive to minors and non-smokers” and a possible ban on them in the context of the review of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).
The variety of flavors is one of the top reasons for adult smokers to switch to e-cigarettes and for vapers not to return to smoking. [3]

Dustin Dahlmann, President of IEVA: “Research into the impact of flavor bans shows that many vapers return to smoking as a result. This must be prevented. We agree that steps must be taken to curtail inappropriate marketing, while recognising the crucial role flavors play in helping smokers quit.”

[1] “Strengthening Europe in the fight against cancer”, 16 February 2022. Link
[2] Public Health England “Evidence review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products 2018”. Link
[3] “European survey: 80 percent of vapers stopped smoking completely”. Link

Egypt lifts e-cigarette ban

Last month, the Egyptian authorities abolished the ban on the sales, import and marketing of e-cigarettes since 2015.
This decision will undoubtedly pave the way for the enactment of appropriate regulations to curb the illegal trade of electronic cigarette devices and tools, which will help eliminate the growing crisis in Egypt due to such illegal trade.
Egypt is now aligned with the global and Middle Eastern markets, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, all of which have legalized the marketing and consumption of e-cigarettes.
In addition, with the cancellation of the ban, and with the implementation of more relevant laws, higher production standards and strict control measures to ensure quality, health and safety will be realized. Adult smokers will be able to obtain the highest quality alternatives to traditional cigarettes and have an extraordinary experience.
The decision to lift the ban has been well received by the largest and most important manufacturers and consumers. By encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises, this will greatly benefit Egypt’s overall investment environment and manufacturers’ investment, opening new stores, and importing rechargeable e-cigarette devices and tools into the market, thereby creating new job opportunities.
It is also certain that the Egyptian treasury will generate additional tax revenue in a stable manner because it blocks the way for illegal businessmen who evade import taxes.

Global broadcast counters secretive WHO conference

A significant round-the-clock global broadcasting event, featuring world-leading Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) experts and consumer advocates for safer nicotine products, has been announced.

Vowing they won’t be silenced, event organisers will broadcast during the length of a key World Health Organization (WHO) conference on tobacco control.

Based in Geneva, the Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) will run from 8 to 12 November. It will be held online and behind closed doors.

Dubbed ‘sCOPe’, or ‘streaming Consumers On Point everywhere’, the five-day livestream will be simulcast via YouTube and Facebook. Presenters and panellists will challenge and scrutinise COP9 – including who’s influencing and funding its efforts to demonise vaping, and why.

American billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s sponsorship of the WHO’s direction on tobacco control and his various foundations’ undue interference on foreign governments, their domestic health policies, and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) will be fully exposed and the documented evidence made public.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers were planning to front up to COP in person and show media our increasing anger for being shut out, once again, from the proceedings. The FCTC’s decision to delay COP9 and host it exclusively online, with no discussions to be publicly released, meant consumers had to take alternative action. Hence, the development of sCOPe,” says Nancy Loucas, event organiser.

“sCOPe is our response to being excluded from the table, as the main stakeholders, of the discussion and decision-making process that directly impacts our health and our right to make informed decisions,” she says.

A co-operative effort by THR consumer organisations globally, sCOPe is totally independent and non-aligned. Its format and content have been developed to inform the public and media, as well as the millions of ex-smokers now using safer nicotine products.

With only weeks to go, organisers are now calling on vapers and consumers of other safer nicotine products to promote and mobilise around sCOPe.

Ms Loucas says the WHO’s lies continue to muddy the waters. COP9 organisers publicly declared in July there would be no discussions or decisions around THR products until COP10 in 2023. However, recent agendas of the WHO’s regional organisations reveal they’ve been busy preparing for COP9 with workshops on emerging and alternative nicotine products.

“We know COP9 will do its best to totally undermine vaping despite it safely helping millions of smokers over the past decade to quit deadly cigarettes. However, we will not be silenced. sCOPe is going to expose COP9’s motivations and actions. Sunlight is the best disinfectant and rest assured this international conference will get a lot of light shone on it,” says Ms Loucas.

For each of its five days, sCOPe will see presenters, panellists, experts and consumers focused on five key themes: What is Tobacco Harm Reduction, Nicotine Is Not The Enemy, How Can A Tobacco Product Be Safer, Who Are Consumers, and Advocacy And Strategy.

sCOPe’s event organiser says FCTC member countries that have adopted progressive THR policies and have seen smoking rates fall significantly will also be closely assessed. sCOPe will be demanding that delegates from these countries tell their respective success stories at COP9 and uphold the rights of adults to choose safer options.

“Given over one billion people in the world still smoke cigarettes, it’s outrageous the WHO continues to actively obstruct debate and access to safer alternatives. Its poisoned position, however, is increasingly untenable. The WHO’s anti-vape crusade is driven by money not science, and sCOPe will prove it,” says Nancy Loucas.

For a free digital media repository on tobacco harm reduction in Asia Pacific – including media releases, images and graphics – please visit

About sCOPe

sCOPe is a round-the-clock international broadcasting event taking place throughout COP9. The five-day livestream, from 8 to 12 November, will feature world-leading THR experts and consumer advocates for safer nicotine products. sCOPe will be simulcast on YouTube and Facebook. Despite being shut out of COP9, vapers have vowed they will not be silenced.

WHO busted for manipulating key tobacco conference

The World Health Organization has been badly caught out ahead of the Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the WHOFramework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in November.

COP9 organisers declared months ago there would be no discussions or decisions around Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) products at COP9. That work would be delayed until COP10 in 2023, they said.

“It’s now clear, however, that was a complete pretence aimed at minimizing a growing backlash against the WHO’s anti-vaping agenda,” saysNancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).

Ms Loucas says the FCTC’s ‘Provisional Agenda Annotated’, dated 14 July, announced that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, COP9 would be held virtually.

Notably, it also postponed any substantive discussions until COP10 on matters including ‘smokeless tobacco and heated tobacco products’ and ‘novel and emerging tobacco products’. Although, organisers instructed that any related documents should still be submitted for information to COP9.

CAPHRA describes the WHO’s well calculated manoeuvring of COP9’s meeting protocols as trickery at its finest.

“Because such matters aren’t supposedly being actively discussed, outsiders like vape advocates, can’t make submissions. That means a tonne of negativity cannot be appended to COP9’s final report for member countries to view. Yet, the likes of anti-vaping papers will still be included as information items, which of course will conveniently endorse the WHO’s poisoned position,” she says.

For further proof that discussions and decisions on safer nicotine alternatives will indeed feature at COP9, Ms Loucas points to the WHO’s regional meetings taking place prior.

CAPHRA has obtained the 27 September to 1 October agenda for the WHO’s Western Pacific Region Organization. It states the meeting is in ‘preparation for The Ninth Conference of the Parties’. Workshops include ‘scientific updates on emerging tobacco and tobacco-like products, and nicotine products’, their regulation, and a panel discussion on countries’ regulatory experiences.

“The manipulation is well underway to ensure safer products such as nicotine vaping are well and truly demonized at COP9. Just because it has been disguised as a deferral, don’t let the WHO tell you it’s not on the agenda this year. They’re playing these silly games only because they’re increasingly running scared, knowing the world is waking up to the WHO’s anti-vape crusade driven by money not science.

“Given over one billion people in the world still smoke deadly cigarettes, it’s outrageous the WHO continues to actively obstruct information and access to safer alternatives which could save millions more lives,” says Nancy Loucas.

These latest revelations proving manipulation ahead of COP9 follow hard on the heels of explosive research. American billionaires and their so-called philanthropic causes have been exposed for not only influencing the WHO, but many governments and the wider public’s view on vaping.

Over the past decade, anti-tobacco Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates foundations have funnelled millions of dollars into Asia Pacific non-government organisations (NGOs) to lobby their governments to ban vaping and discredit consumer advocacy groups.

The research, proving unbelievable undue foreign interference and showing exorbitant amounts of money exchanging hands, has since been reported around the world. To view the full findings, visit:

Now live and boasting over 14,000 testimonials, CAPHRA is calling on those who’ve quit cigarettes through smoke-free nicotine alternatives to tell their story on

Consumer groups in the Asia Pacific region have also launched a petition at that urges the WHO to respect consumer rights and to stop demonizing Tobacco Harm Reduction options ahead of November’s meeting of the WHO FCTC.

For a free digital media repository on tobacco harm reduction in Asia Pacific – including media releases, images and graphics – please visit

Asia Pacific Declaration fights for 600 million smokers’ lives

“September marks the start of the secret season. It sadly sees supposed ‘tobacco control experts’ playing up to their puppet masters and denying Asia Pacific’s 600 million smokers’ access to safer nicotine products,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).

Her comments come as the 13th Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health (APACT) takes place virtually from Bangkok, Thailand on 2, 3 and 4 September.

A few days later, the World Health Organization’s South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) will hold its regional conference online from 6 to 10 September, with the Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) following from 25 to 29 October. It all culminates with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Ninth Conference of Parties (COP9) meeting online from 8 to 12 November.

“APACT has wheeled out a totally predictable programme and line up of speakers who share an irrational and untenable position against safer nicotine products such as vaping. Also, in common is that many, if not most, are longtime Bloomberg grant recipients or indirect beneficiaries. Preaching to themselves in their echo chamber, they continue to ignore all the science and the harm they are causing consumers,” says Ms Loucas.

She says just-released research has confirmed these organisations’ links to American billionaire Michael Bloomberg. To view:

With frustration at an all-time high, the 11 member organisations of CAPHRA have now signed The Asia Pacific Declaration calling upon public health experts and governments in the region (WHO SEARO and WHO WPRO designated countries) to put the health of their people first and support Tobacco Harm Reduction.

‘We are extremely concerned that decisions are being made in various conferences and regional meetings that are not considering the body of scientific evidence that proves the benefits of safer nicotine products’, reads the Asia Pacific Declaration.

‘On behalf of the millions of adults who use safer nicotine products, and in support of the 600 million smokers across the region who deserve access to safer alternatives, we call on the Pfizer and Bloomberg funded Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health to stop pushing failed policies supported by their funders, but rejected by scientists, researchers and leading democracies around the world’, it added.

“We’ve issued this declaration as CAPHRA is desperate to remind Asia Pacific health officials and governments that burning tobacco – or combustion – is the main cause of smoking related disease, not nicotine or inhaling vapour. Tobacco use causes over two million deaths per year in Asia Pacific, and smoking causes the majority of those deaths,” says Ms Loucas.

“We simply want them to recognise that alternative nicotine products are dramatically safer than cigarettes, having already helped to switch millions away from smoking,” she says.

She says Public Health England’s annual reviews of all available evidence have consistently concluded that vaping is around 95% less harmful than smoking. Banning it serves only to protect the cigarette industry.

‘Safer nicotine products should be subject to balanced regulation but must be regulated proportionate to harm, and not the same as cigarettes and smoking. They should be prohibited for youth. They should have health warnings. They should be subject to appropriate, consumer-based quality and safety standards. They should not be regulated as medicines,’ the declaration reads.

‘It is time for public health officials and governments to tell the millions of vapers and billions of smokers the truth. Switching to a safer nicotine product is better for the individual, and better for public health, than to continue smoking. Simply tell the truth…’ concludes CAPHRA’s member signatories.

CAPHRA’s 11 member organisations: Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy, Vapers Philippines, Move Malaysia, Harm Reduction Association of Malaysia, Korean Harm Reduction Association, End Cigarette Smoking Thailand, KABAR Indonesia, Heated Tobacco Concern HK, Asosiasi Vapers Indonesia, Association for Smoking Alternatives in Pakistan, and Factasia.

To read the full Asia Pacific Declaration, dated September 2021, visit:

Now live and boasting nearly 14,000 testimonials, CAPHRA is calling on those who’ve quit cigarettes through smoke-free nicotine alternatives to tell their story on

Consumer groups in the Asia Pacific region have also launched a petition at that urges the World Health Organisation (WHO) to respect consumer rights and to stop demonizing Tobacco Harm Reduction options ahead of the next WHO FCTC in November.

For a free digital media repository on tobacco harm reduction in Asia Pacific – including media releases, images and graphics – please visit

Philippines Senate to lead region with progressive

“The world is watching as the Philippines Senate looks set to approve the most progressive and risk-proportionate vaping legislation in Asia Pacific. We’re hoping other countries in the region will then follow their lead,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).

In May the Philippines House of Representatives passed the Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act also known as House Bill 9007. It aims to regulate the manufacture, use, sale, distribution, and promotion of vaping, as well as heated tobacco products (HTPs).

Peter Dator, President of consumer group Vapers PH and CAPHRA member, hopes the Senate will pass the legislation by September.

He describes it as a massive turn around. The Philippines Government tried to ban the use of e-cigarettes, HTPs, and other smoke-free alternatives in 2019. Then there were proposals to raise the purchase age to 25 and ban all vape flavours other than menthol and tobacco.

“Consumer advocates in the Philippines have worked constructively with legislators and officials. They promoted the regulation of e-cigarettes as a consumer product and advocated for a purchase age of 18. They successfully argued that adult smokers keen to quit tobacco need reasonable access to safer alternatives. Also, that product safety standards are critical,” says Ms Loucas.

Mr Dator says given nearly 90,000 Filipinos die from smoking-related diseases every year, he is confident a clear majority of Senators realise just how much is at stake.

“This needs to get passed to ensure millions of Filipino smokers continue to have access to safer nicotine products. At the same time, existing vapers must maintain access to their product of choice to keep them from going back to cigarettes,” he says.

Clarisse Virgino, the Philippine representative of CAPHRA, is also hopeful the Senate is set to give its stamp of approval required to enact the legislation. She says it will go a long way to addressing the country’s stubbornly high smoking rate which sees over 16 million Filipinos still smoking combustible cigarettes.

“It’s vital this legislation gets Senate approval. It will give consumers better protection enabling them to choose genuine THR products at a reasonable price. Fair regulation will also eradicate any black markets or any sellers who are not authorized to sell THR products, prioritizing the safety of consumers,” she says.

Ms Virgino says legislation will legitimize the fact that tobacco harm reduction is a real thing, backed by science. International evidence continues to put vaping at 95% less harmful than smoking.

“I am confident that like our House representatives, our Senators have listened. Without doubt vaping has proved to be world’s most effective smoking cessation tool. Legitimizing it will go a long way to helping many more Filipino smokers quit cigarettes and protect the rights of consumers to access safer alternatives,” she says.

Ms Loucas says the Philippines adoption of best practice Tobacco Harm Reduction policies will hopefully be emulated by other Asia Pacific governments. Many suffer from desperately high smoking rates and in some countries, such as Thailand, vaping remains illegal.

“This move will only strengthen the Philippines’ independence as it shakes off any remaining vestiges of foreign influence on its public health policies. In recent years, we’ve seen American billionaires and their so-called philanthropic foundations fuelling anti-vaping sentiment around the world. It’s well established that the Philippines has been a target.

“As this landmark legislation nears its final hurdle, outside pressure will again pile on, but Senators can be confident their positive action will undoubtedly save thousands of Filipino lives,” says Nancy Loucas.

Consumer groups in the Asia Pacific region have also launched a petition at that urges the World Health Organisation (WHO) to respect consumer rights and to stop demonizing Tobacco Harm Reduction options ahead of the next biennial meeting of the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in November.

For a free digital media repository on tobacco harm reduction in Asia Pacific – including media releases, images and graphics – please visit

Edinburgh vaping firm VPZ takes wraps off first ‘vape clinic’

The facility has opened within the group’s flagship Newbridge store and plans are now in place to roll out the service across the entire retail estate in the coming months.

Bosses said the clinic concept had been introduced to meet the growing demand for smoking cessation help as access to local services and vaping retailers massively reduced during lockdown.

Plans for the vape clinics to help more smokers quit were first outlined in May.

Director Doug Mutter said: “VPZ is the UK’s leading vaping specialist and we are spearheading the fight against the nation’s number one killer – smoking.

“We are proud to be launching the very first vape clinic here in Edinburgh and will soon be rolling the service out across our entire retail estate to give smokers the support they need to quit and help the country regain its momentum toward becoming a tobacco free nation by 2030.

“Smoking statistics are continuing to rise as the pandemic has triggered an increase in smoking rates and the public health problem has been compounded by funding cuts for NHS stop smoking services and local support groups.”

He added: “Our new concept is an investment to fill the void left by the loss of local NHS stop smoking services. We are so confident in the success of our new service that we are offering our customers a money back guarantee if they are unable to make the switch entirely.”

Germany approves tobacco and e-cigarette tax hike

Smokers – of both electronic cigarettes and the regular variety – will have to reach deeper into their pockets in the coming year, after the German Bundestag signed off a bill to raise taxes on cigarettes, e-cigarettes and tobacco heaters.

Smoking in Germany to get more expensive in 2022

On Friday morning, the Bundestag waved through legislation to make smoking in Germany more expensive as of next year – and the price hike is higher than was originally planned. Accordingly, the tobacco tax on a packet of 20 cigarettes will rise by an average of 10 cents in 2021. A year later, a further 10 cents will be added, and in both 2025 and 2026 another 15 cents per pack will be added.

Legislators are also coming down hard on e-cigarettes and tobacco heaters, products which were previously only lightly taxed. That will change in the future, as the government moves to tax even nicotine-free varieties of e-cigarettes.

Currently, a 10-millilitre bottle of vape liquid costs around 5 euros in Germany. In 2022, an extra 1,60 euros will be added to this price in taxation, and this will rise to 3,20 euros by 2026. An additional tax is also to be introduced for heated tobacco, so that in future it will be treated similarly to cigarettes for tax purposes.

E-cigarette manufacturers complain of unfair treatment

The new law has been met with dismay by the manufacturers of e-cigarettes and tobacco heaters, who argue that their products contain significantly fewer harmful substances than tobacco cigarettes and should therefore not be subject to the same levels of taxation. The Association of the E-Cigarette Trade (VdeH) warned that the move might prompt vapers to revert to smoking tobacco cigarettes.

The so-called “Alliance for Tobacco-Free Enjoyment” – a representative body for the e-cigarette industry – said that it intends to go to the Federal Constitutional Court to file a complaint against what it sees as a disproportionate tax increase.

Around one in four adults in Germany smokes regularly, meaning that the tobacco tax is a big source of revenue for the government. Last year, it swelled the government’s coffers to the tune of approximately 14,7 billion euros. The last time the tobacco tax was increased was in 2015.

Estonia decides to suspend consumption tax on e-liquid

A European country, Estonia, previously imposed a tax on e-cigarettes, but now it has decided to suspend the consumption tax on e-liquid.

The Estonian Parliament recently voted to suspend the consumption tax on e-liquids from April 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022.

The reason given for the suspension of e-liquid consumption tax is: to reduce cross-border trade and illegal trade, and that more countries should follow suit.

Since 2018, the consumption tax on e-liquid in Estonia has been 0.2 Euro per milliliter. Since its entry into force, e-cigarette users in Estonia have begun to buy e-liquid from neighboring Latvia and Russia. Prices in these two countries are much lower, and because the illegal trade of e-liquid has started to grow, minors have begun to become black marketers, buyers and sellers.

NNA Smoke-Free Estonia is an affiliate of the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) network. It is a member of the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations (INNCO) and the European Advocate for Tobacco Harm Reduction (ETHRA).
The organization calculated that self-mixing, cross-border and smuggled e-cigarettes e-liquid accounted for approximately 62-80% of the entire Estonian market.

Tarmo Kruusimäe, Member of Parliament of Estonia, said that the suspension of consumption tax will likely lower the price of e-liquid, thereby providing consumers with controlled and safe products at lower prices.

“If we manage to reduce illicit trade and cross-border trade, while at the same time providing less harmful alternatives to cigarettes at more competitive prices, then it may become a successful model.”

President of the Canadian Vaping Association calls on decision makers to include e-cigarettes in harm reduction strategies

On February 16, Darryl Tempest, chairman of the Canadian Vaping Association, issued an open letter calling on the government to use electronic cigarettes in tobacco harm reduction strategies.

He said that in Canada, the number of deaths caused by smoking has exceeded the combined number of deaths from drug overdose and the covid-19 pandemics, making it the first enemy of public health. E-cigarettes have been proven to have significant harm reduction effects and are the most effective tool to solve this public health crisis.

An open letter from Darryl Tempest – Executive Director of the Canadian Vaping Association

Beamsville, ON, Feb. 16, 2021 — For the better part of the last decade, advocates have fought for vaping to be recognised as a harm reduction tool for adult smokers. In the time since, science has caught up with the industry’s message and vaping has been recognized by all health organizations as far less harmful than smoking. Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence concluding that vaping is less harmful, smokers and society at large are still being sent mixed messages by the government and misleading information by media to support a sensationalistic narrative.

Canada has a strong history of supporting other types of harm reduction, with the response to the opioid crisis being a great example. Opioid overdoses were responsible for 16,364 deaths in Canada over a 4-year period. The government responded by creating safe injection sites and are now considering decriminalizing heroine, fentanyl and cocaine. These measures were designed to provide safe spaces for addicts and to connect them with needed resources. While safe injection sites and the decriminalization of hard drugs are controversial, the government continues to address the problem through a science-based harm reduction lens.

This harm reduction lens is again applied to COVID-19, with Canada’s implementation of a highly controversial response. The country has shut down businesses, closed schools, mandated safety plans for employers and restricted travel. These measures while extreme and controversial were implemented following a thorough scientific review which determined they were necessary for public health. To date, COVID-19 has taken the lives of 21,311 Canadians.

These are just two of many examples of Canada leading effective harm reduction policies regardless of the controversy surrounding them for the betterment of public health. Vaping has been scientifically proven to be the most effective cessation method for smoking; an addiction that claims the lives of 45,000 Canadians each year. Despite smoking being Canada’s leading cause of preventable illness and premature death, the government’s response to vaping has been dangerously inadequate.

While Health Canada’s website does state that smokers who switch completely to vaping reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals, their campaigns warning of the dangers of vaping, without mention of the immense harm reduction opportunity for our country’s 4.5 million smokers have confused the public. This is made clear by polling which found more than half of Canadian’s believe vaping is at least as harmful as smoking. This polling data is dreadfully low for a product that could save millions of lives, save our health care system billions of dollars, and prevent millions of Canadian families from experiencing the emotional toll of smoking related deaths.

In large part, the confusion surrounding vaping stems from legitimate concerns regarding increased youth vaping rates. Instead of focusing on educating youth and restricting access, media and anti-vape organizations continue to run harmful campaigns discrediting vaping as a harm reduction solution while targeting flavours. These campaigns are contrary to the fact that vaping is the most successful tool in history to address smoking rates. To meet our national smoking reduction goal, policy makers must support vaping as a harm reduction strategy. We only need to look to the results in the United Kingdom to see the incredibly positive impact vaping has had on their nation. If the Government of Canada is serious about smoking rates being at 5% by 2035, their current policies will need to catch up with the plethora of science supporting vaping as the most powerful tool for harm reduction and acknowledge that flavours are the key to vaping’s success.

Youth vaping is a real concern, but it can be addressed through proper enforcement, education, and restricting access to adult environments, rather than further regulation at the expense of the lives of millions of adult smokers. Smoking is our country’s greatest threat to public health, with a death toll greater than both overdoses and COVID-19 fatalities combined. The government must use the same scientific approach to solving this health crisis as would be applied to any other.

While my message is addressing the systematic change needed to save millions of lives, personally I have lost family members to smoking related disease, as many of us have. If our leaders in government, public health and journalism continue to ignore the research, the only message I could share with those that our families have lost, is that because of stigma their lives didn’t matter to our society.

We will continue the fight for those that can change their health outcomes and for those that we have already lost.