Last May, Nova Scotia approved a 20mg/ml nicotine cap on vaping products, making it the first Canadian province to adopt such a restriction. The move followed an amendment banning all kinds of flavoured e-cigarettes and juices, gone into effect on April 1st.
William MacEachern, co-owner of the Cloud Factory Vape Shop in Dartmouth, had filed a complaint with the local court on grounds that the increased taxes on vaping products and devices and the ban on flavoured products and on sampling, are reducing his access to a smoking cessation tool.
An article on Global News reported that MacEachern described himself as a “long-term smoker” who was able to quit thanks to vaping products, and felt better within weeks of switching. To this effect, he challenged the constitutionality of the province’s restrictions, on the basis that they violate his right to security of the person (as outlined in Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms), and sought a suspension of the measures.
The news report added that the assigned judge ruled that MacEachern failed to prove he would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction were not granted, adding that he also failed to prove that lifting the measures would benefit public health.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Judiciary, has reached out to Vaping Post, and clarified that the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the constitutionality of the vaping laws in Nova Scotia, and that a hearing on the merits of that application is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2022.
“Justice Denise Boudreau’s decision was on an application for an injunction that would have temporarily stayed the vaping laws, pending the Court’s decision on the constitutionality of those laws. Justice Boudreau denied the request for an injunction and was very careful not to speak to the constitutional issue,” added the spokesperson.
The report by the Canadian Constitution Foundation
A recent report by the Canadian Constitution Foundation: Canadian Vaping Law: Overview and Constitutional Issues, pointed out that while local regulations were meant to differentiate between vaping and smoking, this did not materialize. “While current and proposed legislation (especially at the federal level) sometimes distinguishes between vaping and smoking, it often fails to do so. Vaping is, according to the best available scientific data, much less dangerous than smoking, because it does not involve combustion or the generation of smoke.”
The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) commended this report. “The CVA supports all efforts to ensure reasonable access to vapour products. Smoking is Canada’s leading cause of death, with 45,000 Canadian deaths each year from tobacco related diseases. The data has conclusively shown that restricting vapour products leads to higher smoking rates. By banning flavours Nova Scotia has impeded the right not to be deprived of life, liberty, and the security of the person,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA.
The CVA has previously cautioned the Government of Nova Scotia that banning flavoured vaping products would be counterproductive as it would push vapers to the black market, and possibly drive former smokers back to smoking regular cigarettes.