Pods for vape devices are unfortunately ripe for regulation.
As governments’ struggle with the rise of under-aged youth using vape products, there is a constant hum going around with myths gaining strength against the truths of vape products and what should be responsible government vape product policies.
Start off with the belief that access to pods and their devices should be where adult smokers currently buy their cigarettes. The government and various health organizations including the World Health Organization claim that vaping is less harmful to smokers health than combustible cigarettes. So if the government is interested in getting tobacco smokes to switch to vape, it makes sense to put the products where they currently buy their tobacco. There are over 24,000 convenience stores in Canada and approximately 1,000 vape shops.
Government, on the other hand, are leaning towards only allowing vape shops to sell vape products removing most of the popular vape products from convenience stores. Their rationale is that vape shops are adult only locations and only sell to vape using customers. While this is certainly true, the fact is there is only 1,000 locations – and when you highly restrict availability of any products – black markets form as they have most recently with cannabis. In Ontario, there are less than 100 cannabis stores to serve over 3 million people. Once black market underground distribution systems form, it is very difficult to close them down.
Government, is also considering taxing vape products. This premature move removes some of the incentives for adult smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives. The fine balancing act of getting adult smokers to switch that have numerous benefits to reducing health care costs, etc., and the notion of taxing vape products is not an easy one to decide on.
Finally, government is considering regulating nicotine levels in vape products as well as ensuring the safe manufacturing of these products. There is no argument here other than to ensure that proper due diligence is carried out. Health organizations cannot lead this discussion or persuade government – policy must be derived from consideration of all stakeholders and their appropriate research.
If there is one thing for sure, vape products is the next contentious issue for government to manage.