Canadian Vaping Association calls Quebec Bill 44 unconstitutional
Imagine if the buying or selling of any sort of vaping product through the Internet was illegal? Well, it’s happening in Quebec, and the Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) is taking legal action to prevent Bill 44 from passing, labeling it as “unconstitutional.”
Bill 44 took effect in November of 2015, but certain provisions do not become active until later this year. Within a few short months, testing of e-cigs, vaping devices, and e-liquids in public venues, including vape shops, will no longer be legal. Retailers will also be prohibited from displaying or advertising any of these products in full view of the public. By simultaneously taking away the ability to sell vaping products online, Bill 44 essentially criminalizes the entire vaping industry in Quebec. The only thing that remains legal is the ability to possess vaping paraphernalia, which may be a possible next step if the anti-vaping legislation remains in place.
In a statement picked up by a Wisconsin News Station, the President of the Canadian Vaping Association, Beju Lakhani, stated,
"By prohibiting the testing of e-cigarettes in specialty vape shops, banning display and promotion in store and online sales of any vape product, we believe the Government of Quebec should be taken to task over the constitutionality of Bill 44…Our membership includes those who wish to vape rather than smoke tobacco and those who assist customers choose the most appropriate products that are right for them and, of course to help them understand how to use them properly. By introducing (Bill 44), the Government of Quebec, we believe has overstepped its legislative authority, which leaves us with no other choice than to bring this matter before the courts."
He goes on to state that such harsh government restrictions may very likely drive the entire Canadian vaping industry underground, which is not good for retailers, consumers, or the health and safety of the general public. In fact, should vaping turn into a Black Market Industry, even the banning of selling e-cigs and vape products to minors will immediately be jeopardized. Meanwhile, those who are looking to use vaping technology as a smoking cessation device will lack access to credible and appropriate information regarding the proper uses for the technology.
Bill 44 received unanimous support from the National Assembly during its initial introduction in 2015, but the wording of the legislation is carefully designed to seemingly target only tobacco products. Like much of the current U.S. anti-vaping bills, e-cigs and vaping devices get caught in the crossfire by being categorized as tobacco products, too. With anti-smoking activists around the world consistently, and perhaps intentionally, confusing the terms “tobacco” with “nicotine,” the global vaping community seems to be fighting the same battle over and over again, just in a different country, state, or province with each new bill.