The territorial government is asking the public for their take on a potential ban on selling flavoured vapes.
GWNT introduced the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act back in March, with the aim of protecting peoples’ health by implement stricter regulations on vaping products.
Under the new legislation, vaping products can’t be bought by anyone under the age of 19 years and retailers are subject to strict rules on how they can advertise vaping products. Advertising vaping products where youth could see the advertisement is completely prohibited.
Opening this issue up to the public could mean people who actually benefit from vaping products are drowned out, said Jason Cooper, creator of the Facebook group Yellowknife Vape Enthusiasts, who also runs a vape store inside the Village Reddi Mart on Old Airport Road.
“It’s worked for many people, including myself,” said Cooper. “I was what you call an accidental quitter, I tried the product and threw my pack of cigarettes in the garbage in the next day.”
Nova Scotia was the first province to ban the sale of all flavoured vaping products, except tobacco flavour, in an attempt to keep vaping products out of the hands of children and youth.
“If you take flavours away from vaping that completely defeats the whole purpose of what the product was designed for,” he said. “It would kill the whole industry, less than five per cent of my customers use tobacco flavours.”
“People who have tried the flavours, when they try a cigarette again, it just tastes terrible,” added Cooper. “A lot of them are going to go back to smoking cigarettes.”
Cooper also said while there has been a ban in some provinces and others are currently debating the issue, people would still be able to purchase flavoured vaping products online and have them delivered.
A survey done by the NWT Bureau of Statistics in 2018 found that:
- 33% of NWT residents aged 15-24 years of age have tried vaping at least once.
- 50% of NWT residents that tried vaping did so because they were curious.
- 22% of NWT residents that tried vaping did so because they perceived vaping as less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes.
- 20% NWT residents that tried vaping did so because they like the flavours.
The public can submit their feedback online between September 23 and December 18.