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 (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, 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.
The CVA has taken action to contact vape shops in Quebec and is exploring the means to legally challenge these rules.