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Beamsville, ON, March 29, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) commends the police departments of Saanich and Calgary for their recent investigations into businesses and individuals selling nicotine vape products to minors.
Gemini Convenience Store in Calgary has been fined $10,000 for selling vaping products to a minor and failing to verify the age of customers who appear under 25, violations of the Tobacco, Smoking and Vaping Reduction Act.
Additionally, Saanich police busted an operation that was targeting youth through the social media platform Snapchat to arrange sales of nicotine and cannabis products at middle and high schools. Over $100,000 worth of product has been seized, but no charges have been laid. Saanich police are working with federal agencies to determine if any laws were broken. The CVA is hopeful that charges will be laid under the federal Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA) and the Cannabis Act.
"Canada has robust regulation to prevent youth from acquiring vapour products and protect youth from inducements to vape. These regulations have proven effective at combating youth experimentation, but no amount of regulation can combat individuals willing to break the law. The Canadian Vaping Association has called for increased enforcement resources and is pleased that local police departments are taking action to protect young people," said Darryl Tempest, Government Relations Counsel to the CVA.
Currently, penalties for sales to minors are too lenient and do not act as an effective deterrent. While initial offences are deserving of some leniency, repeated sales to minors warrants harsher fines and penalties. For those willing to break the law, small fines become a cost of doing business and consequences are viewed as benign. Local authorities should consider revoking business and specialty vape store designation licenses for repeat offenders and egregious violations.
Although some health organizations have called for more restrictive vaping regulation, regulation won't prevent crime. Survey's find that youth most commonly access vape products through social sourcing. The solution to preventing youth from illegally acquiring vape products is not more regulation, but more enforcement and resources dedicated to enforcement efforts.
About the CVA: The Canadian Vaping Association is a registered national, not-for-profit organization, established as the voice for Canadian vaping industry. Founded in 2014, the CVA represents over 200 retail and online vaping businesses in Canada. The CVA does not accept membership or funding from tobacco companies or affiliates. The association is a liaison with the federal and provincial governments on all legislative and regulatory issues related to the industry. The primary goal of the CVA is to ensure that government regulation is reasonable and practical, through the strategy of professional proactive communication and education.
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