The legal challenge was brought about by the Canadian Vaping Association (CVA), an association representing Quebec vape shops. They argued that parts of the Tobacco Control Act adopted by the Quebec government in 2015 violated their fundamental rights, notably freedom of expression.
In a judgment released earlier this month, the court also invalidated another section of the provincial law prohibiting the advertising of vaping products to smokers seeking to kick their habit. Justice Daniel Dumais has suspended his ruling for six months to allow lawmakers to rewrite the problematic sections of the province’s tobacco law to make them valid.
E-Cigarettes vs Tobacco Products
Despite the research indicating the relative safety of the devices, and the fact that they contain no tobacco, the legislation had been designed to regulate vaping products as tobacco products. Anti-tobacco groups have argued that e-cigarettes needed to be regulated as such in order to prevent teen vaping.
The CVA on the other hand, has pointed out that in doing so, the province had overstepped its legislative authority. However, Dumais, who heard arguments by the province’s Superior Court over 10 days last December, has ruled against this part of the suggested amendment, saying that Quebec had a right to legislate on the issue.
“Overall, the law is constitutional,” Dumais wrote in a lengthy decision taken last month. “Quebec has jurisdiction to legislate as it has done. The Quebec legislature has jurisdiction and could validly pass the contested laws.”
Read Further: The Globe and Mail