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Brent Stafford takes us to Quebec, behind the curtain of the Anti-vaping regulation under Bill 44 (Courtesy of RegulatorWatch.com)

Government deemed of assaulting one’s free speech rights

It is a government assault on one’s right to speak freely, to share information and to engage any operational business without fear of penalty or fines, says Brent Stafford in his latest release of Regulatorwatch.com on Bill 44.

The National Assembly adopted the legislation unanimously despite testimony of prominent Quebec doctors and presentations of credible research that recognize vaping as a safer alternative to smoking. The Mayo Clinic study is a good example of what can be share with customers. Retailers are free to do so anywhere in Canada but not in Quebec.

Showing vaping in a positive light is illegal

The ban on Advertising and Promotion under the Bill 44 has been interpreted by the regulators of the Ministry of Health to include any form of communication that shows vaping in a positive light. Sharing any information on the product with their customers is now reprehensible for retailers and their employees.

Stephanie Ghio, Spokesperson for the Canadian Vaping Association, vape shop employee in Quebec.
Stephanie Ghio, Spokesperson for the Canadian Vaping Association, vape shop employee in Quebec.

Stephanie Ghio, spokesperson for the Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) and employee in a vape shop in Quebec describes the pressure that undergoes retailers and their employees. She had always been very active on social networks, to share information and she feels frustrated since it has now be become illegal for her to discuss with her community.

Vaping is not smoking, it is obviously safer but…

Stephanie believes that without any promotion on the product, smokers may disregard the safer electronic alternative to the cigarette. The product may even be considered more dangerous than smoking by the lack of information.

Alan Browne, co-owner of Tornade Vapeur, a vape shop in Montreal and CVA member.

Alan Browne, the co-owner of a very popular and successful vape shop in Montreal is also member of the CVA. For him, the original proposal was not too restrictive until it passed. Once it got turned into rule making by the Ministry of Health, all kinds of “funny things” came out, he says. For example, retailers are not allowed to put price tags on their products, a verbal response to any customer’s question is the only alternative. No written description is allowed inside inside the shop except a 2×2 ft board to summarize all selling details.

The government tries to harm vaping business

By treating the vaping products the same way as tobacco products, the Government tries to kill the vaping industry the same way it is killing the tobacco industry. It has not recognized the fact that the vaping industry proposes another way to deliver nicotine that is not the same as tobacco, he says.

“We are angry, we are organized and we are moving forward” -A. Browne
Alan confirms that he had been told by the Inspectors to remove all written documents from his shops and to clear his Facebook pages and website from any line that make the promotion of vaping products. He also confirms that no positive information on vaping must pass from him to his customers. If a client posted something positive on Facebook, he would be monitored for being a promotion agent for the store and the retailer prosecuted.

The CVA has taken action to contact vape shops in Quebec and is exploring the means to legally challenge these rules.
  • Greg A. Hamacher

    It is all about the money and the court case that was recently won by Quebec against the tobacco industry and the fact is the amount of money they receive each year is dependent on tobacco sales less sales less money

  • CyZane

    Quebec is sold to Pfizer, full period.