While authorities and health experts are divided over the issue of vaping, lawmakers and regulators are starting to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes under the argument that vaping isn’t totally safe, fearing that using e-cigarettes has made “smoking” normal in the community. Some proposed laws, however, were being changed after pressure from the public.
In Nova Scotia where a proposed law calls the banning of several e-liquid flavors and tobacco used in e-cigarettes were quickly revised after coming under fire from the public.
The Nova Scotia’s Freedom of Information Act shows that the law was amended shortly after the start of the hearing because the officials knew certain aspects of the law won’t sit well with the vaping community.
Dr. Robert Strang, a key member of the health minister’s office said in an email that:
“I understand the issue of including e-juice in the ban on flavored tobacco products has become a problem with our legislative amendments.” This prompted lawmakers to take a “new direction” for the tobacco legislation.
Locals are opposed to the banning of flavored electric cigarette liquids and tobacco use in vaporizers and the proposed laws that inhibit the selling of these products were met with public scrutiny. Locals started emailing their protests to key members of the law amendments committee, pushing authorities to back out from their original plan and instead, continued to debate over the changes in the law.
As sections of the bill were amended, Adelle Poirier, a senior communications advisor outlined the government’s strategy to amend the bill:
“Our Comms approach is as follows: provide messaging for the government member to introduce/explain amendments to the committee in the morning. As soon as the member begins this, a news release will be issued explaining our direction. Our webpage will be updated at the same time. Media will have time to tweet/report. Media can get a clip from the minister as he enters the house at 1 p.m.”
Liberal members of the law amendment committee voted to remove the section of Bill 60, the proposed law that will ban flavored tobacco and juices. The bill was then sent back to the House of Assembly for further debate, as part of the amendment. However, not all members of the committee were briefed on the changes.
Asked by the local government lifted the ban on flavored juice, Steven Gough, a backbencher responded, “I’m not 100% sure on that.”
According to CBC news, they have requested all communications between the premier’s office and Strang. In an email, Peter Bragg, the executive assistant of Health Minister, Leo Glavine, says that that:
“The minister has requested that we put together as much information about the benefits of Bill 60 and Nova Scotia’s work to reduce smoking and harms from smoking.”
In the November 13 debate, the minister, together with seven other Liberals defended the government’s decision to lift the ban on flavored tobacco and juices. The government is now planning to meet and consult experts over which types of flavored tobacco should be banned and debate whether the ban should also cover to selling flavored vaping juices.