October 19, 2023
My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Modifying the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act to include vaping in 2018 was said to be to protect the health and safety of Canadians, with the objective to reduce smoking in Canada to a prevalence of 5% and reduce smoking and nicotine addiction among young people.
This legislation was passed with very little supporting scientific evidence. The promise by the government was that the legislation would be updated as the science became available. We now have the data and scientific evidence at our disposal. We know that vaping is not a successful smoking cessation tool, that vaping is a gateway to youth cigarette smoking and that vaping liquids are toxic.
When will the legislation be updated in accordance with the data?
Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question, for your continuing leadership and work on this file and for bringing these matters to our attention — as you did as a critic, if I recall. You continue to do this to your credit.
As evidence accumulates, the government will continue to evaluate the implications of that evidence for changes or amendments, whether it’s with legislation, regulations or other policy directives. I am not aware of the status of those deliberations, much less where they will lead. However, as soon as more information is available, I will certainly be pleased to share it in this chamber, as I know the government will be sharing it with the Canadian people.
Senator Seidman: Thank you. We would all appreciate that, I’m sure.
Despite the 2021 consultation — which there was — we have yet to ban vaping flavours, which are said to be most appealing to youth. Senator Gold, of Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial governments, 6 have adopted legislation or regulations to ban the sale of vaping flavours other than tobacco. When does the federal government plan to ban flavours in vaping products?
Senator Gold: Thank you. I do not know, and I am not in a position to predict what the government’s plan is. As you point out, provinces acting within their jurisdiction have taken that step, and I think the evidence that will accrue over time with that experience would, and certainly should, inform decisions made at the national level.