by Rob Washburn
The decision by Premier Doug Ford to pause new regulations around e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, won high praise from a local shop owner and advocate today.
Maria Papaioannoy , owner of the Flavorium Vape Boutique in Port Hope, said she is ecstatic. She and many other vape store owners across the province lobbied hard during the recent provincial election to urge politicians to review legislation restricting the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping accessories.
The legislation, drafted by the previous Liberal government, was scheduled to go into effect on July 1. Ford rescinded it yesterday.
Vape store owners wanted further consultations to refute what the industry believes is misinformation about e-cigarettes and its use to reduce tobacco smoking. She refers to it as a method of harm reduction.
However, Lorne Jordan, the tobacco control investigator for the public health unit, said today, there is a large body of scientific evidence against the use of e-cigarettes, meaning there are toxic substances and nicotine in them. He said there is a local concern with the number of high school students using vape products.
Maria Papaioannoy refutes the studies, saying there are an equal number on the other side. She acknowledged the dangers of smoking but said restrictions are banning the sale of vape products to anyone under 19. She blamed convenience stores for selling to underage youth.
Jordan admitted the Kawartha Pine Ridge and District Health Unit does not run any educational programs around vaping for the general public. It does do presentations in local schools.