Are the new vaping laws unconstitutional?
With both the provincial and federal government creating a patchwork of legislation, it is obvious that the coordination was not there. This confusing web of regulations has created a very harsh climate for vaping and the vaping industry. More importantly, this is leading to an adverse effect to the possible health benefits of vaping on the population.
The Canadian Constitution Foundation will soon release a report on the effect of vaping legislation on harm reduction, and how it has been modeled on anti smoking legislation. Punishment for breaking the rules can include imprisonment and these Draconian laws have succeeded in scaring much of the population.
With some of the potential and current laws putting restrictions on things like advertising, nicotine content and even flavour has caused vaping to become less effective and definitely less attainable. Smokers do not understand the truths nor are they able to come across them or information about vaping unless they personally know someone who already vapes. Being unable to claim the benefits as a supporter and member of the industry really steps on our goal of helping society.
In Canada, we have the right to not to be deprived of life, liberty and security of the person, unless it encroaches on the principles of fundamental justice. However when vaping laws over encroach on our lives, the government is taking a smokers' ability to make the switch to vaping and is depraving them of their rights to life and security. The right to life is deprived as making the switch lessens the chance of death & the right to security is deprived because the benefit of switching is a positive boost for the general health of individuals.
The government has not stopped there. They've also obstructed our right to the freedom of expression. When manufacturers cannot market their products nor design them to reflect what they truly are, this restriction of our freedoms are a complete unnecessary encroachment on our rights, and should be fought.
This is just the beginning. While the government can take away our rights and make the public afraid of something that has the potential to help society, at least it's a sign that there is something deeper, more sinister at work. Politics playing with big money playing with the inclinations of old and unreasonable rhetoric has the potential to actually harm a good part of our population. This is only because they are too swayed by the untruths and too scared to reach for something better.
We will keep you posted on what the Canadian Constitution Foundation is doing to help our cause and how we can make vaping accessible to more smokers. With reasonable legislation, vaping has the potential to save countless lives and change the generations to come!