LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF MANITOBA
THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
TIME – 6 p.m.
LOCATION – Winnipeg, Manitoba
CHAIRPERSON – Mr. Dave Gaudreau (St. Norbert)
VICE-CHAIRPERSON – Mr. Matt Wiebe (Concordia)
ATTENDANCE – 11 QUORUM – 6
Members of the Committee present:
Hon. Mr. Allum, Hon. Ms. Crothers, Hon. Mr. Kostyshyn
Messrs. Cullen, Friesen, Gaudreau, Graydon, Marcelino, Pedersen, Swan, Wiebe
Hon. Jon Gerrard, MLA for River Heights
Ms. Nicole Gomes, Manitoba SWAT–Students Working Against Tobacco
Ms. Jade Solomon, Manitoba SWAT–Students Working Against Tobacco
Ms. Jenna Kalinski, Manitoba SWAT–Students Working Against Tobacco
Ms. Cindy Neniska, private citizen
Mr. John Haste, Electronic Cigarette Trade Association
Mr. Cam Irving, private citizen
Mr. Jordan Vedoya, Fat Panda
Ms. Cierra Giesbrecht, private citizen
Mr. Neil Migalski, private citizen
Mr. Jason Doornink, private citizen
Mr. Leroy Kehler, private citizen
Matt Anderson, private citizen
Eric Mutter, private citizen
Kerry Miller, private citizen
Deanna Hinson, private citizen
Laura Cosford, private citizen
Allan Wald, private citizen
Ron Jerome, private citizen
Gordon Tagg, private citizen
Tyler Korman, private citizen
Christine Dales, private citizen
David Ryman, private citizen
MATTERS UNDER CONSIDERATION:
Bill 30–The Non-Smokers Health Protection Amendment Act (E-Cigarettes)
* * *
Deputy Clerk (Mr. Rick Yarish): Good evening. Will the Standing Committee on Human Resources please come to order.
Before the committee can proceed with the business before it, it must elect a new Chairperson.
Are there any nominations for this position?
Mr. Andrew Swan (Minto): I nominate Mr. Gaudreau.
Deputy Clerk: Mr. Gaudreau has been nominated for this position.
Are there any other nominations?
Hearing none, Mr. Gaudreau, will you please take the Chair.
Mr. Chairperson: Our next item of business is to elect a Vice-Chairperson.
Are there any nominations?
Mr. Swan: I nominate Mr. Wiebe.
Mr. Chairperson: Mr. Wiebe has been nominated.
Is there any other nominations?
Hearing no other nominations, Mr. Wiebe is elected Vice-Chair.
This meeting has been called to consider Bill 30, The Non-Smokers Health Protection Amendment Act (E-Cigarettes).
I'd like to remind the Standing Committee on Human Resources will meet again tomorrow, September 30th, 2015, at 6 p.m., and, if necessary, on October 1st, 2015, at 6 p.m., to continue consideration of Bill 30.
As per our agreement between the House leaders, presenters have been scheduled and assigned to present at one of these committee meetings. Tonight we'll hear from 10 of the presenters registered to speak on Bill 30, and you have a list of those presenters before you.
For your information, in accordance with rule 92(7), as this is the third meeting considering this bill, no further registrations to speak on Bill 30 will be accepted after midnight tonight.
On the topic of determining the order of public presentations, I will note that we do have out‑of-town presenters in presence, marked with an asterisk on the list, and with this in mind, what order does the committee wish to hear the presentations?
Mr. Swan: We'd be prepared to hear the out-of-town presenters first, Mr. Chairperson.
Mr. Chairperson: Is it agreed by the committee? [Agreed]
Before we proceed with presentations, we have another number of items of points of information to consider. First of all, if there's anyone else in the audience who'd like to make a presentation this evening, please register with the staff at the entrance of the room. Also, for information of all presenters, while written versions of the presentation are not required, if you're going to accompany your presentation with written materials, we ask that you provide 20 copies. If you need help with photocopying, please speak with the staff at the back of the room.
As well, in accordance with our rules, a time limit of 10 minutes has been allotted for presentations, with another five minutes allowed for questions from committee members. If the presenter is not in attendance when we call her name, they will be dropped to the bottom of the list. If the presenter is not in attendance when their name is called a second time, they will be removed from the presenters' list.
The following written submissions on Bill 30 have been received and distributed to committee members: Matt Anderson, Eric Mutter, Kerry Miller, Deanna Hinson, Laura Cosford, Allan Wald, Ron Jerome, Gord Tagg, Tyler Korman, Christine Dales and David Ryman. Does the committee agree to have these documents appear in the Hansard transcript of this meeting? [Agreed]
Prior to proceeding with the public presentations, I'd like to advise the members of the public regarding the process of speaking in committee. The process–the proceedings of our meeting are recorded in order to get a verbatim transcript. Each time someone wishes to speak, whether it be one of the MLAs or the presenter, I first have to say the person's name. This is a signal for the Hansard recorders behind me to turn the mics on and off.
Thank you for your patience and we will now proceed with public presentations. I'm going to ask the committee for leave for the first out-of-town presenter, would like to have a group presentation with a couple of her friends. She'd be allotted the same amount of the 10-minute time, but she'd like the three of them to proceed together. Is there leave for that? [Agreed]
So, I will now call on Nicole Gomes, Jade Solomon, Jenna Koloski–Kalinski. Sorry. And if I could just ask you to, before you speak, each one of you takes your turn to speak, just say your name for the Hansard reporter.
So, do you have any written presentation?
Floor Comment: No, just orally.
Mr. Chairperson: Okay, please proceed.
Ms. Nicole Gomes (Manitoba SWAT–Students Working Against Tobacco): Okay, so Nicole Gomes. I'm a second-year student at the University of Winnipeg and also a member of Manitoba SWAT, which stands for Students Working Against Tobacco.
High school students are vaping in increasing numbers, even at school. Much progress has been made on reducing youth smoking rates, but e-cigarettes and vape pipes should not be allowed to reverse that progress. Youth are not using them to quit smoking; they are using them to begin smoking.
Many students from middle school to university level are beginning to use these devices. I have personally seen people use them at the University of Winnipeg, so in Riddell Hall, which is a cafeteria, there's–I was eating some food and I saw a puff of smoke in front of me and I kind of looked up and I saw someone was smoking a vape. So that's pretty startling.
Vapes and electronic cigarettes are being promoted as a safer alternative to tobacco, which is not true. As a long-term SWAT member, I have participated in many health fairs with youth involved, and lately the hot topic among students have been–revolved around vapes and e-cigarettes. So they come and ask us questions about vapes and e-cigarettes and ask us if it's healthier for you, and actually a lot of students and youth do think it is a lot healthier for you, when there is a lot of chemicals and toxins in them, especially if they're getting ones with nicotine in them. Kids are thinking that this is a way of smoking but also looking cool. So it's a new alternative and technology way to use these devices and to kind of smoke.
Kids are using e-cigarettes recreationally and modifying them to increase the exhaled vapours, so they can do smoke tricks. So you can see on YouTube, there's various videos where people are doing tricks. They're changing up the vapes, so they can make tricks and look even cooler, using these devices.
Most youth believe that these vapes contain only non-toxic chemicals and flavourings when we know that they–that many of them contain toxic materials and nicotine. Some actually contain as much or more nicotine than tobacco cigarettes. Because vapes are unregulated and a fairly new concept, we can't be sure what's exactly in it, including the nicotine count and other potentially toxic chemicals. For cigarettes, we can say that there are over 4,000 chemicals and we're able to say that there's formaldehyde, tar, rat poison, et cetera, but for e-cigarettes, we aren't able to identify just exactly what's in them and how many chemicals are put into them. Some studies have shown that some vapes contain chemicals such as the ones in cigarettes, like carcinogenic chemicals, or youth are using other substances in these vapes, like electronic liquid THC to get a cannabis high.
Kids do not understand the risks or potential harms from e-cigarettes, and most think that they are relatively harmless and most certainly less harmful than tobacco, and this could be due to many factors, including marketing tactics. So the marketing design of the vape devices is another issue. The incredible array of flavours, including candy, fruit flavours like bubble gum, watermelon, cola, et cetera, are all designed to appeal to youth and to hook kids. Many of these kids also end up smoking tobacco and essentially becoming dual users. And, while these flavoured vapes are not supposed to contain nicotine, young people may be tempted to acquire cartridges with nicotine online.
Advertising of vape shops like Fat Panda here in Winnipeg and others can be heard commonly over the radio. Also, we have seen some ads on television of vapes and e-cigarettes which attracts an even larger audience. We would like to see all advertising and promotion of these products regulated, because that is how youth are influenced to try them.
In conclusion, vapes may undo the denormalization of smoking, thereby undermining all the progress that has been made in reducing smoking rates. I have seen people use e-cigarettes inside of buildings such as hospitals and schools. We believe the Province should ban the use of e-cigarettes in all indoor public spaces. The youth of Manitoba deserve to be protected from these action-causing products. They should be regulated, and Bill 30 is a good first step. Bill 30 should also go further and ban vape devices on school grounds just like tobacco is treated. What's the point of allowing one and not the other?
Thank you for your time.
Ms. Jade Solomon (Manitoba SWAT–Students Working Against Tobacco): Jade Solomon, from St. Boniface Diocesan High School, in grade 11. Speaking alongside my fellow SWAT colleagues, I'm here to talk in support of Bill 30.
Electronic cigarettes is a device at times resembling the traditional cigarette, containing a heating element and a mechanism to dissolve nicotine or other related chemicals, thereby converting them to a gas vapour for inhalation, after which the smoker would exhale water vapour as by–a by-product.
E-cigarettes and vapour products are highlighted as a tool to be used in order to quit smoking. As it becomes another method of nicotine releases, alongside patches and chewing gum, people may assume or start that vapes and e-cigs are essential tool when it isn't currently legislated as this. As of now, these products are acting much more like a cool toy for youth than it is to adults battling a nicotine addiction.
Currently, there is existing regulation in selling and advertising of tobacco products, effectively deterring underage students from obtaining these items on their own. However, no such regulation exists for electronic cigarettes and related vapour products. Tobacco and cigarette distributers and shops have strict regulations regarding product display, promotion and underage restrictions. Because these restrictions do not currently apply to e-cigarettes and vapour products, there is a chance that youths would be exposed to nicotine addictions which would negatively impact their health.
The legislation of Bill 30 is crucial to the safety of youth health while still providing another means to quit smoking for individuals who are currently finding success with the practice. As with other harmful substances that may aid in addition and abuse, such legislation would discourage such destructive habits among minors and prevent the ill effects such substance effects would have on their health.
Commercial advertising for cigarette products follow strict legislation, and, while the bill would apply these legislations to e-cigarettes and vapour products, this still does not hinder the impact media platforms and other marketing methods would have on the distribution of these items. Social media you use is high and influential among teens and other underage individuals, and such vast marketing possibilities bring misinterpretations of information and problems along with it, as will be discussed by my fellow SWAT colleague, Jenna Kalinski. Thank you.
Ms. Jenna Kalinski (Manitoba SWAT–Students Working Against Tobacco): Jenna Kalinski, from St. Boniface Diocesan High School. I'm a member of SWAT, and I'm here to speak about Bill 30 and its effects of e-cigarettes and vapes that have on youth.
I will be focusing on the topic of social media and media platforms, where these products are not only available to youth to attain but also to market specifically to youth. E-cigarettes are found on many forms of social media these days. As seen on Instagram, there are many different pages that are designated to e-cigarettes and vaping, and on these pages there are pictures of bedazzled holders and different patterns, so they are almost–treated almost like a common accessory. These pages include pictures of different flavourings that you can inject into the cartridges. There are numerous amounts of people viewing these pages.
Pinterest is another form of social media where e-cigarettes are being advertised, where people can see all the different patterns, and some of the pages include links to their website where you can purchase the pattern you'd like to own. They will send it to you, and then more and more people will have these.
Another form of media would be YouTube. There are many different things you see on the topic of vaping. You don't just–you see people doing tricks with the vapours, such as making different patterns, different shapes and even different sizes. People will search these up to–videos up to learn to be cool.
Then there's the access to online shopping. The vape store, which is a Canadian shop, have an online store that will ship their products to your door. People who are viewing these social media pages now have an option of online shopping where they can purchase any of the items that they've seen on their social media pages.
Since teens are seeing these products advertised on their social media feeds, they're starting to think that it isn't as bad as smoking a regular cigarette. In the long run, this could still lead to addictions and possibly some of the bad health conditions that cigarettes can cause.
Of course, we cannot keep youth from purchasing these products or for personal use, but, by passing this bill, we can make it clear that this action is neither popular or–nor cool for youth to participate in. These products should definitely should not be allowed, not only in buildings where more than just the user said products would be affected.
Bill 30 will help keep many people, especially children, safe from possibly damage–possible damages from these vape and electronic cigarettes may cause. As youth ourselves, we truly hope that this bill passes so that ourselves and our peers are protected from the potential harm.
Thanks for your time tonight.
Mr. Chairperson: Thanks for your presentation.
Any questions from the committee?
Hon. Deanne Crothers (Minister of Healthy Living and Seniors): Ms. Gomes, Ms. Solomon and Ms. Kalinski, I want to thank you very much for coming to share your view and also to thank you for the work that you do with SWAT, and certainly appreciative of the fact that you're helping to reduce tobacco use.
I'm sure it was very intimidating to come and speak here in front of a group–not just us, but a group of people that may not all agree with you, but I'm sure that in this room we can be respectful of one another's opinions. And I'm really very impressed that you came to share yours. Thank you very much.
Mr. Chairperson: Mr. Gerrard. [interjection]
Mr. Gerrard was first. Yes. Sorry.
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Thank you very much for coming and presenting. Can you just clarify a couple of things? One, what proportion of students at the St. Boniface collegiate would be using the e-cigarettes and products and, second, I sense you're in agreement with much of what is in bill C‑30. Are there things that you would recommend which are not there or that anything be taken out? [interjection]
Mr. Chairperson: Sorry, I just have to recognize you. Ms. Gomes, go ahead.
Ms. Gomes: It's okay. I worked here, so I know. Okay, so these ladies go to St. Boniface Diocesan. I'm not too sure–do you guys want to speak about that, people that you know that–do you know anyone that uses vapes at your school?
Floor Comment: I do know–
Mr. Chairperson: Sorry, Ms. Solomon.
Ms. Solomon: I do know a couple of people at my school who actually do use them, and it's only a couple, but from what I know, there are students who do use them.
Floor Comment: Nicole Gomes. Okay.
Mr. Chairperson: Ms. Gomes.
Ms. Gomes: I think that there was another girl that was supposed to come and speak with us today, and she said that she knew quite a few of her peers that use it or her friends that use it. It's becoming something that's very popular, like say, at parties. So it's during the weekend where they come back on their Monday and they're telling their friends, oh, did you try the vape? Or they bring it on the Monday for them–the people that haven't tried it to try it.
So it is something that's becoming, like, an accessory or something as a hobby, like, to do outside of school. And, I know, your–at St. Boniface Diocesan they don't allow the use of vapes in the school, but there are students that do use it off the property.
So, to answer your second question, something that we would like to add to the bill is to ban the use of vapes and e-cigarettes on school grounds. So the same as tobacco, you have to get off school grounds to smoke cigarettes. We want that for vapes and e‑cigarettes as well.
Mr. Cliff Graydon (Emerson): Thank you for presentation tonight, Mrs. Gomes–or Ms. Gomes, and your colleagues as well for taking up this cause. Just one question, if–and I know that your concern is with young people. At the same time, if vapes help some people–adults stop smoking that have children, what do you say to those adults? [interjection]
Mr. Chairperson: Ms. Gomes.
Ms. Gomes: Oh, sorry. Well, I think what this bill, right, this is to ban in public buildings, and I personally don't want someone smoking a vape around me, especially if I'm sitting in the cafeteria at my school. I think that's inappropriate. I think that for people that are trying to quit smoking, maybe it is a good tool for them. But I think that it needs to be in regulation for it to be a cessation tool because, as of now, that's not what it is. So thanks for the question.
Mr. Chairperson: All right. Seeing no further questions, thank you very much for your presentations. And thank you, and welcome back to the building again.
For those who don't know, Ms. Gomes was a page in our Legislature. So thank you very much.
I will now call Marianne Curtis, private citizen.
Marianne Curtis, no?
Okay, we'll now call that–Marianne Curtis's name will now drop to the bottom of the list.
And Cindy Neniska. Is Cindy here?
Do you have any written materials for the committee? Perfect, okay. She'll hand it out, and you can proceed when you're ready. And is it, sorry–is it Neniska?
Ms. Cindy Neniska (Private Citizen): Neniska.
Mr. Chairperson: Neniska. Okay.
Ms. Neniska: Good guess.
Mr. Chairperson: Thank you. All right. Proceed when you're ready.
Ms. Neniska: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for allowing me to speak tonight. September 16th would've marked what would've been my mother's 80th birthday, but nine years ago she–oh, darn–nine years ago she passed away from lung cancer, having been a heavy smoker for over 60 years of her life. Before she died, she made me promise that I would quit smoking, and I did promise that I would try. She saw herself in me: the difficulty breathing, the cough that wouldn't go away, and the frustration for all the failed attempts to quit.
For the next three years following her death, I tried everything to fulfill that promise. One by one, they failed. The nicotine patch failed; I still craved the action and calming effect of smoking. The gum and lozenges failed, as they, too, did not calm the craving, the action of smoking. Next were the pills, Champix. I became deeply depressed, suicidal and, yes, still craved the mechanism of smoking. Finally, getting somewhat desperate, I tried good old cold turkey, and let's just say that my entire family chipped in for a carton of cigarettes.
I tried the non-conventional therapies: acupuncture, hypnosis, herbal teas and a laundry list that could go on. Nothing kept me away from cigarettes and worse, after every failed attempt, my cigarette consumption increased to the point where by the summer of 2013, I was smoking two packages a day.
Things got very real that summer. At my yearly physical, I was told in no uncertain terms that I had to quit smoking. I was suffering with shortness of breath, my cholesterol was a staggering 12, I had a serious cough that was not going away, and at least two bouts of bronchitis every year. I broke down in tears because, at that moment, I thought that my children were going to have to watch me die as I watched my mother die seven years before. But I shook it off, and I renewed my determination to quit.
A computer search for tools, education, whatever I could find yielded the e-cigarette, something new and something that I'd never heard of. I ordered a starter kit from the United States, complete with menthol-flavoured, nicotine-containing liquid, in a quantity suggested by the online store owner. While I waited for the product to arrive, I again searched the Internet for information on the ingredients, as I was fearful of exchanging one toxin for another, and this is what I discovered.
Pharmaceutical propylene glycol–the FDA includes this in its generally recognized as safe list. The World Health Organization considers it as safe for use, and we'll find it in everything today from medication to snack foods.
Vegetable glycerin–used in food applications in e-cigarette liquids, is USP grade, over 99 per cent pure and has a sweet taste. Because it metabolizes differently than sugar, we're going to find this in a lot of low-carbohydrate foods being used for sweetness and moisture.
Flavouring–typical the same–typically the same flavouring products used in candy making and baking.
Now, the fourth ingredient–that scared me–in varying amounts of nicotine, and it was hard at first for me to find credible information regarding nicotine by itself as just about any study I read dealt strictly with nicotine as an ingredient in cigarettes and discussed only in conjunction with cigarette tobacco use. After really refining my search queries and digging down through pages of results, I started to find information that was really in all honesty astonishing. Nicotine by itself, as a general rule, is considered only mildly addictive in much the same way caffeine is and carries roughly the same health risks. It's not only found in the tobacco plant but other plants that we consume in vegetables on a daily basis.
When my kit arrived, I threw out my cigarettes just like on previous attempts, convinced myself this had to work, and I admit, you know, I was skeptical. Nothing else had worked, so why should this? It tasted awkward. It was weird. But at the end of the day there was no craving for a traditional cigarette. I had made it a full day, and each day thereafter ended with my not smoking a cigarette. By the end of the first week I was coughing up globs of brown phlegm. My body was getting used to reaching for an e‑cigarette. My mind was happy with this new delivery system of nicotine. The days turned into weeks and not one craving, not one headache or mood swing, no sleepless nights, no depression. This, for all intents and purposes, was working.
At the three-month mark I was retested for my cholesterol, having just been on the e-cigarette, no activity or diet change, and I had dropped two full points. My doctor asked what I was doing, if I had cut back on fats or doing the walking. I said, no, I quit smoking, and I showed him how. I showed him the literature I'd printed. I showed him the device, and he said he was going to read up on it and to come–for me to come back three months later.
The next test showed a further one point drop. Although I was now above normal, I was no longer at the medicinal intervention level that I was at previously. At this point my lungs and breathing were assessed as well and both showed measurable improvement. My doctor informed me that he read up on these, and as far as he was concerned, if I stuck to the e-cigarette, his words were, and I quote, you should be my healthy patient for a long, long time. He also said he'd be showing this to some of his more diehard smoking patients that, like me, were having difficulties quitting and really should.
This summer marks two years that I've been smoke free, and here's how my life has improved.
Now that my lung capacity and breathing have improved so significantly, I ride a bicycle instead of driving. I take my dog on long brisk walks. I go dancing, hiking and window shopping. This marked increase in activity has given me another boon: It's allowed me to lose 110 pounds. That weight loss has further improved my overall health by reducing my risk of diabetes, heart disease and joint issues, all things I was facing. I could not have achieved this as a smoker. My cholesterol is now a healthy five. I have not had so much as a case of the sniffles in two years, no colds, no flu, no bronchial attacks. My visits to the doctor have gone from six issue-specific visits per year to two wellness visits per year.
We are taught to listen to and respect the advice and suggestions of our health-care professionals. We trust that they're looking after our best interest, and I'm doing exactly that. My physician's words were this: Nicotine is not the danger in cigarettes; the chemicals produced by the burning of the tobacco and its additives are, however, toxic and highly carcinogenic. He is of the opinion that the e-cigarette lowered my cholesterol from a serious health risk to a normal level and significantly over–significantly improved my overall health, lung capacity and breathing. He is more than comfortable with my using the e-cigarette for as long as I feel it necessary to do so.
My one regret is that these devices were not available in time to save my mother's life. My one wish is that maybe one day no son or daughter has to watch their mother die like I did from something that now, with the availability of the e-cigarette, has the potential to be prevented.
My one fear is that harsh laws and restrictions will hinder the opportunity for smokers to achieve the success and health benefits that I and many others are enjoying.
In conclusion, smoking started out as something cool to do with your friends, but by the time my generation learnt just how dangerous it was, we were addicted.
We all know the statistics regarding quitting smoking and how poor the success rate on current products for quitting really are. I ask this committee to please consider the current studies which show marked success using the e-cigarette. Consider the personal stories of those who have shared their own successes, and also to finally consider that our United Kingdom neighbours are leading the fight in making the electronic cigarette available for those who wish to improve their health and well-being.
This product deserves a place in retail where those who wish to regain their own health can discuss and try the device with stale–sales staff available to answer their questions. I really stress this is not a tobacco product. It does not contain tobacco. It does not carry the health risks associated with burning tobacco and, as such, should not be lumped in under the same restrictions and regulations as traditional tobacco products.
I want to thank you very much for letting me share my story with you.
Mr. Chairperson: Thank you for sharing your story.
Ms. Crothers: Ms. Neniska, thank you very much, and I certainly want to congratulate you on the incredible change in your life and certainly the health choices you're making. I'm sure it must be very freeing.
I did want to just point out that in this legislation that we've brought forward, we're the only province in Canada that's actually allowing vaping in vape shops. So that education piece that you referred to will continue, because I certainly have heard not just in the last two committee nights that we've had, but other people who have similar experiences as yours. So I'm sorry at the loss of your mother. I'm very glad that you've been able to find a way to reduce your smoking, well, because of vaping.
But thank you very much for coming. Appreciate it.
Floor Comment: Thank you for giving me the opportunity.
Mr. Chairperson: Oh–Ms.–sorry. Mr. Graydon.
Mr. Graydon: Thank you very much for coming in with your presentation. It was very well put together. It takes a lot of courage to come in to a committee like this and–
Floor Comment: You can't see my knees.
Mr. Graydon: There's a lot of them that are sitting here that they're knees are shaking too, but it's okay.
If you could give the ministers some advice tonight on this legislation, what would that be, specific advice?
Ms. Neniska: You know, we don't want our kids to do this. I mean, we really don't, and I think that limiting this to adults only is more than fair; lumping it as a tobacco product isn't. Because what that's–but has the potential to do is scare off current smokers that believe, much like I did, that you're just exchanging one toxin for another. And the studies are coming back remarkably in favour that this is seriously–seriously–95 per cent safer than smoking. One hundred per cent, no. But, I mean, technically, if you really want to get technical, breathing our city air outside during rush hour traffic is not 100 per cent safe. So my only specific suggestion would be to certainly maintain this as 18-plus.
Mr. Gerrard: Yes, thank you for coming here and sharing your story. I would–perhaps you could tell us a little bit about one of the dramatic changes. I mean, you've lost a fair bit of weight. Do you think that's due just to the exercise that you could now have because you are no longer addicted to smoking?
Floor Comment: It is.
Mr. Chairperson: Ms. Neniska.
Ms. Neniska: I'm sorry.
I had really no energy. I–my doctor was reluctant to use the term borderline COPD, but my breathing issues, colds, bronchitis, flus. You're living every day just kind of trying to slog from the bedroom to the living room, just constant chronic shortness of breath. And just within that three months, I noticed that, you know, I don't wheeze anymore, and friends were noticing this over the phone. They said, oh, are you on asthma medication? You're not wheezing. I don't hear you wheezing. And that just started it. My energy started cropping up, and then when I realized that this was actually helping me, now it's like, well, what else can I do to improve my health? You know, you get that confidence that–think I succeeded with what's considered to be one of the most hardest addictions to quit, and, in my mind, I figured I succeeded. If I can quit smoking, I can lose weight. And, yes, I mean, now it's–there's a new me inside this body, and I think it's the greatest thing in the world; it really is. And, yes, I do. I do hold the e-cigarette responsible for this, and I don't know how else to put it. I mean, you know, one day, maybe with luck I'll be able to set it aside as well. You know, I keep decreasing the nicotine amounts much in the same way I've cut back on coffee consumption, you know, from six cups a day down to two cups, but basically with the same consideration. And that was suggested by my doctor: treat it the same way.
So, yes, I do. Thank you.
Mr. Graydon: Yes, I have one final question. As your last sentence points out that it should not be lumped in under the same restrictions and regulations as traditional tobacco products, are you suggesting that there should be–it shouldn't be under the same tobacco regulation that it's currently aimed at right now, that there should be separate regulation for e‑cigarettes?
Ms. Neniska: Yes, sir, I do. There is no tobacco in this product. It's–the delivery system is different; it uses a little zap of electricity to give you a little puff of steam. It's not lit with a match. There's no tobacco in it and that's really what it comes down to, and nicotine, as we all know, is available in things other than a tobacco plant. So we can't just say that, well, because it contains nicotine, therefore, it's a tobacco product. So, no, it does deserve its own unique classification.
Mr. Chairperson: Thank you very much for your presentation.
Floor Comment: Thank you very much. Good evening.
Mr. Chairperson: You too; have a great evening.
I will now call on John Haste.
Mr. Haste, do you have any materials for the committee? While the pages hand it out, please feel free to proceed with your presentation.
Mr. John Haste (Electronic Cigarette Trade Association): Good evening, Mr. Chairman, Minister Crothers and committee members. I would first like to thank you for this opportunity to speak with you regarding Bill 30, the non-smoking health protection act, e-cigarettes.
I'm not a scientist or a medical researcher, nor do I have any training or background in any related field. However, I am a logical and analytical person who listens very closely to those who are. I call them the smart ones. I do not listen to just one side of the issues facing this industry, nor do I only read the positive articles and research about electronic cigarettes or vapour products, but delve deeply into all the information that I can find. This is because I'm also a 35-year, pack-a-day smoker now an ex‑smoking vaper of more than four years.
I am here this evening on behalf of the founding directors of Electronic Cigarette Trade Association. We formed in 2011 for the purpose of establishing industry standards for a product that did not fit anywhere within current product classifications. In the absence of a regulatory direction from our governments, we needed to apply existing Canadian laws, regulations and common sense to our framework. Vapour products are not tobacco, nor are they medicinal in nature; so they must be something else.
Over the past several years, we've produced an industry standards-of-excellence guide with over 200 pages outlining the standards of these unique products. These range from age-restricted sales to safe display of retail products, consumer record protection, hardware safety certificates, proper labels–proper labelling, liquid testing, third-party auditing and more. We opened our membership in late 2013, currently representing 56 businesses across Canada with one or more locations and/or distribution channels for vapour products. Five of those members are right here in Winnipeg. These businesses are volunteering and paying to self‑regulate, using the applied ECTA of standards.
Suffice it to say, we are in favour of regulation and applaud this government for stepping up with what we believe to be the most reasonable, original draft bill by any provincial government to date. Perhaps the most significant of these regulations is the ability to promote and display products and vape within dedicated vape shops. We believe these two aspects are critical in reaching smokers for the goal of having them switch to–switch from deadly tobacco.
Additionally, we appreciate you do not breach the subject of flavour restrictions within this legislation. We are completely in support of restriction of sales to individuals that are at least 18 years of age. This is and has always been a mandate for our members. These products are an alternative to smoking tobacco products, therefore, it only makes sense that the person purchasing the product be of legal smoking age. It is unfortunate that some retailers have taken advantage of the lack of legislation on age restriction, but we expect this common-sense regulation will correct that.
We do not, however, agree with the proposed blanket ban on vapour products in public spaces, at least not in terms of posing public health risk. This bill implies that there is evidence of consequential risk to bystanders when, in fact, medical and laboratory studies have shown that simply is not true. Studies are often not easy to–easy for laymen to understand, and many researchers and medical professionals are alarmed by the way that their conclusions are misinterpreted or misunderstood by members of the press, political bodies, even health organizations. One such researcher, Professor Riccardo Polosa, says it's the dose that makes the poison, and anything reduced to its chemical name can sound sinister when presented to people who are unfamiliar with chemistry.
We do agree and understand that public vaping can be a distraction or a nuisance in some locations. For that reason, we believe hospitals, bars, restaurants, hotels, et cetera, should be permitted to make their own policy on vapour products based on their needs. But simply imposing a blanket ban on public spaces because of misinformation or what vapour looks like is completely inconsistent with any evidence and inappropriate regulation in this case.
While we are in full support of what this bill is trying to accomplish, there is a fundamental flaw that causes a significant concern for our organization. This bill is aligning these products with tobacco products when, in fact, they are not tobacco; they are actually disruptive technology, antitobacco.
Inserting vapour products into a regulatory framework built for a deadly product sends a very wrong and inappropriate message to the public. It damages the correct understanding of their intended purpose as a harm reduction product and implies that both are of equivalent risk when, in reality, as emphasized recently in–by Public Health England, electronic cigarettes have been determined to be around 95 per cent less harmful than smoking. As such, applying current tobacco regulations to vapour products would be like applying commercial grade fireworks to a matchstick.
Some might believe it appropriate because of the unfortunate common nickname of the product, electronic cigarette, or an optional ingredient, nicotine, or a common action to use the product. The real differences, though, are overwhelming. One of the optional ingredients, nicotine, does not warrant alignment with tobacco products. In fact, most–when, in fact, most people that do not use tobacco will consume measurable amounts of nicotine every day in common foods such as eggplant, green pepper, potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower, tea and many others.
Another argument is that nicotine is extracted from tobacco when, actually, there are bushes in Australia that have four times the concentration of nicotine than what is found in tobacco. Even pharmaceutical, agricultural and research nicotine is currently culled from the tobacco plant. Right now, tobacco is just the most cost-effective and readily available source.
There are also many individuals who'd not–who do not use or have reduced their nicotine consumption levels to zero–non-nicotine. Quite literally, anyone can go into a local drugstore, purchase common food grade ingredients to make non-nicotine vapour liquid for their device. An oft‑repeated fear in public health circles is that vapour products will renormalize smoking and the use of tobacco products following years of gains in denormalization; they actually do the polar opposite. They act in direct contradiction to ongoing tobacco use by providing a cleaner, safer product that is replacing the use of tobacco for millions worldwide.
While it is true that their usage is increasing, smoking rates have decreased at a similar rate and have never been lower. Also, smoking tobacco has been denormalized at a social level for a very real and significant reason, and that is not going to change. Though people raise the fear that youth using e-cigarettes–youth are using e-cigarettes, long-term legitimate studies such as Britain's Action on Smoking and Health found that it's only–that it is–not only is it rare but almost all youth who try e‑cigarettes have already tried or are smoking cigarettes.
Another study published in August of this year in BMJ Open medical journal, to evaluate e-cigarette use among a sample of non-smokers and smokers in Canada with more than 1,000 participants, concluded that while further research should be conducted, the current use is almost entirely concentrated among smokers.
The fear of vapour products acting as a gateway to tobacco is not backed by any evidence. Studies, in fact, conclude it is without merit. One British psychologist from a tobacco dependence research unit stated that these studies will prove nothing more than youth attracted to tobacco cigarettes are also attracted to electronic cigarettes. But presenting such a casual relationship between vapour products and tobacco at the regulatory level promotes that theory with some sort of equal or transitional perception.
If this committee is unable to remove this product from tobacco legislation, we respectfully request that it be passed as originally drafted with an amendment to add an exemption to the indoor vaping ban for special events. These would be single or multi-day events for vaping-related purposes, and restrictions to those only–only those over 18 years of age. We also request that there be a mandatory review within a reasonable amount of time, one to two years, for possible amendment or removal and reclassification.
With the rate at which new evidence related to vapour products is emerging, it is very likely that these regulations will need to be modified significantly in the near future to match new findings. In fact, it is already outdated, but we realize we have to start somewhere.
Mr. Chairman, Minister Crothers and committee members, with all that's been said, our true preference would be to set this bill aside for the purpose of redrafting, outside the scope of tobacco, to include industry input based on a well-rounded set of current publications and studies as evidence. We are very concerned about significant unintended consequences. As an electronic device that does not contain tobacco, aligning–alignment with a deadly tobacco product is fundamentally inappropriate. At the end of the day, this bill is taking anti-tobacco small businesses and pushing them into the hands of the tobacco industry.
Again, I thank you for your time, and I'll try to answer any questions you may have.
Mr. Chairperson: Thank you for your presentation, Mr. Haste.
Ms. Crothers: Mr. Haste, thank you very much for coming. I think I might have seen you at another committee hearing last week? Yes. Thank you for this very thoughtful presentation. It's definitely giving me food for thought.
I do want to ask about the–one of the final comments you made about an exemption for special events. Can you give me an example what you're thinking of?
Mr. Haste: Yes. The special events would be what's classified in–among vapers as what's called a vape meet. I don't know if you're familiar with those. They have a large one down in Toronto that's called VapeCan, which is a multi-day event where it's basically a–more like a trade show where–bring your smoking friends; we'll try to get them on electronic cigarettes.
Ms. Crothers: Okay and, I'm sorry, you said it was called a vape can?
Mr. Haste: Yes, that one in particular is called VapeCan, but this–vape meets is what they would be referred to normally. I mean, we have had, I guess, in the last two years we probably had four or five in the Winnipeg area. And these are generally in enclosed areas, you know, depending on what time of year especially.
Ms. Crothers: Thank you very much.
Mr. Graydon: Thank you very much for your presentation tonight.
You mentioned standards that you and your group had started to put together in 2011. Were those US or Canadian standards, and have you had any federal input into these standards or had any discussion with the federal government over these standards?
Mr. Haste: Yes. They actually were based on Canadian standards. Canadian laws, regulations are what we applied to them and, in fact, for the liquid specifically, that's probably the biggest concern at this point, is we did apply the CCCR 2001, Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations, 2001. It's basically for a toxic product, which nicotine does fall under toxic, and we have applied that standard among many other standards within that industry standards of excellence.
And, yes, we have had input, but not direct input from the federal government. We actually presented our guide to Health Canada. It was probably shortly after HESA, I believe, and we did provide it as well to the HESA committee back in March, I think it was.
Mr. Graydon: Well, thank you for that, and you did answer one of my own questions that I had asked one of the other presenters.
But at the–what we've heard from a number of presenters is, yes, they were in favour of the vape shops where they could go and try these out, and the minister has accommodated that in the bill. At the same time, do you know people that would invest in a vape shop in a community of, say, 120 people? Or are we leaving a lot of people in rural Manitoba–or rural Canada for that–leaving them out of the circle of being able to try these, understand that they will quit–being able to quit smoking with them? Because we've heard many, many testimonials that people have quit because of the use of these, but at the same time they're being hidden. Is that going to be productive both for the health of the people that are doing the smoking, but their families?
Mr. Haste: Yes, actually, that is one of the extreme commendations I give this committee for the–or, rather, Minister Crothers for the vaping being allowed in the vape shop. That is a significant benefit to the vapers.
And would someone open a vape shop in a community of 120? Probably not. I mean, these aren't cigarettes. They're not blow-and-go kind of things. It's–it does take time to work through a product. However, I mean, every community of 120 has a larger city nearby. They certainly travel and, you know, if not, there are also–and, actually, that's how the vaping community got started, was we had to go online. I mean, you go online–in fact, the first one that I tried was purchased online from the US. It was four years ago now, I guess. But we got it; we tried it. It kind of worked and we just went from there. I mean, if you find a flavour that you like, you stick with it, and if it gets you off tobacco cigarettes, that's all that matters.
Mr. Gerrard: Yes, thank you, and I just want to compliment you on establishing the standards for the trade association.
You mentioned there's 56 shops which are represented by your organization. What would be your estimate of the total number of shops across Canada?
Mr. Haste: That's a difficult one, and, actually, I had a meeting earlier today that, you know–it, actually, it was 56 shops. It's not actually 56 shops that we represent; it's 56 businesses. One of those businesses in particular has 16 shops, so it is more than 56 locations that we represent. But, as far as the number of shops across Canada, we really couldn't even guess at that. I mean Winnipeg alone, we know, has 20-plus at this point, whereas two years ago there were zero.
I did have a meeting earlier today that the individual had some statistics on the number of shops in a particular location. They said they got their information from Health Canada, because someone is reporting them to Health Canada. Health Canada acts on it and they report to whatever, and eventually that number gets out. But as far as–has that number been disseminated out to us? No.
Mr. Chairperson: The time for questions and answers is over, unless somebody is asking leave? No?
Thank you very much for your presentation, Mr. Haste.
I will now start at the top of in-town presenters. Cam Irving.
Do you have any materials for the committee?
Mr. Cam Irving (Private Citizen): No, I do not.
Mr. Chairperson: Okay. Please proceed when you're ready.
Mr. Irving: Okay. First of all, I'm just going to tell you my personal story, because we've all heard everyone's story over and over again, and it seems very similar.
I smoked since I was 16, and I understand we want to protect children, but children can get tobacco; same with vaping. I've tried quitting using the patch, gum, inhalers, everything. I always went back to smoking because I missed something.
With the electronic cigarette or vaping, I was able to go from 24 milligrams of nicotine down to 12 to–pardon me, to 18 to 12 to six to three to 1.5 with a goal to quit vaping altogether. I don't want to vape forever. I want to be tobacco free, vape free, and I don't think anyone's ever said that. But I educate people all the time on vaping. I explain to them that the only thing good for you is fresh air, and, unfortunately, we have bad habits in life, and one of those is smoking.
So I've got many people–I sit outside the casino and I do sit in the smoking section because people are interested in this product; they want to know. And I can tell you, it's not 100 per cent safe. You're putting something into your lungs, but my body tells me that it's safer. I no longer have sinus headaches. I no longer have headaches. I feel energetic during the day. I don't come home and have to sleep before going to bed. It really does work.
And flavours, I've heard from both sides; flavours are very important to this. I would've never ever bought my first vape if it wasn't for the cherry or the watermelon. I don't like tobacco; I like nicotine, and that's what I get from this. I get the flavours. I enjoy it.
So I've heard people propose to ban flavouring. I think that would be the wrong way to do it because every one of us, and there's like 800 people in our group, we all enjoy flavourings. We all enjoy the community part of it, and we all help each other with different products, different flavours: Oh, we like this; if you don't like that, try this; if you're having problems with certain types of flavouring or whatever, if you're allergic or problems, we all help each other.
I never had that with smoking. Not one person would ever come up to me and say, you know what, maybe–I'm a smoker, well, maybe you should try this or do this or–we help each other. And I personally think that we should be supporting this, which you are, and I support your Bill 30. I think it's absolutely right. I don't want to be vaping indoors, and I wouldn't do it anyways. Walking through Walmart is inappropriate to be blowing anything, right?
What I do like is that you are allowing vaping in the stores because you need that to sample. No one wants to drop $30 on a bottle of e-juice to find out, you get home, I don't like it. All these products are also available online. So if you were to ban flavouring, all it's going to do is make me go somewhere else, maybe make it myself. I'm not sure–I can get nicotine. I can get vegetable glycerine. I can get the propylene glycol. I can get everything I need to make it, and that's dangerous. I don't know what I'm doing. So I like to go into that store, sample the flavours and try everything.
Also, the one big thing that I've recently had a problem with: vaping is not smoking, but yet you as a government allow businesses to treat us like smoking. I was at the Winnipeg Blue Bomber game. Once you enter the stadium, you can no longer leave and come back. So, if you want to vape, there's two smoking sections. I'm out there breathing second‑hand smoke; I am not a smoker. By the way, I've been vaping for 19 months. I quit on my first vape pen. One pack, finished those off, never smoked again. The Casinos of Winnipeg, they force me to vape in the smoking section. I can't even vape further down. I agree, not in front of the doors. I have no problem going outside of the stadium. I have a problem with certain aspects. You're putting me in a smoking section. I don't smoke. It looks like smoke, but it's not smoke. So I would like to even see possibly promoting businesses somehow to allow us to vape in a vaping section. Why not be progressive and say, you know what? Vaping is safer. Vaping's awesome. It helps people. We should not be putting them with tobacco because people–it's like putting an alcoholic in a bar somewhat. You tempt them. If you keep them separate–and I don't want to breathe second-hand smoke, but nobody protects my lungs. I vape.
Everyone has arguments one way or another. If this bill was to go through exactly the way you wrote it without any amendments, it would be great. It would be the best bill that I've ever seen about vaping. It's the changes that are–people are proposing. Convenience stores, they don't have the time to be selling. It's knowledge. I sit down. It takes me half an hour to teach someone how to use a vape pen properly, safely. We're talking about liquids that contain nicotine. They have to be stored properly. You've got to explain all this. If you have someone working in a convenience store and that, they're not going to have the knowledge. They're not going to have the safety. They're not going to have the time nor the–to teach you anything. So I think convenience stores, I know they want to sell it. I don't think it's responsible. These vape stores, they do not sell to anyone right now under 18. Every vape shop, pretty well, will not allow even people under 18 into their store. They take the time to help you. They–when they get a new product, they explain to–you make sure you know what you're doing.
So I would just–I would like to see Bill 30 just the way it is. And even the vaping in bars and casinos and that, you know what? There are places that allow you to vape indoors right now. I feel wrong doing it. I feel wrong. I still go outside even though it's quite fine. You know, I was at a Jets game–or, pardon me, it wasn't a Jets game; it was a concert. They pump the exact same stuff into the air at a rock concert, but yet I can't vape in there, which is–I'm okay with. But, if you say no vaping indoors, what about these rock shows? What about theatrical fog? What about–is it okay for them to be pumping my lungs with the exact same stuff you guys are saying possibly not I can't do indoors? It's kind of hypocritical of, like, True North and stuff like that to tell you you can't do something, but yet they're doing the same thing.
So it's got to be fair, and I would really like the government to push businesses, like I said, to allow vaping in a vaping section. Not one place in Winnipeg has an outdoor vaping section, so I'm basically forced to go where smokers are and breathe second-hand smoke. It's not fair.
And that's pretty well my story.
Mr. Chairperson: Okay, thank you for your presentation.
Ms. Crothers: Mr. Irving, I have to say, of all the presenters I've seen so far, I think you covered the most territory in that 10 minutes of time, everything from community to–[interjection]
Mr. Chairperson: Mr. Irving, go ahead.
Mr. Irving: I wrote a whole bunch of stuff down, and then I speak from the heart. I'm passionate about vaping, but I'm realistic about vaping. I don't think it's 100 per cent; I don't even think it's 95 per cent. All I know is it's safer and I'm not smoking. So I wrote all this down and I haven't even looked at it because I speak from the heart and that's who I am. And I'm as nervous speaking in front of you. I've never spoke publicly, and I probably never will after this, but I'm telling you it's very important to me, very, very important.
Mr. Chairperson: Well, you did a fantastic job.
Ms. Crothers: I'll just reiterate with my colleague. You really–you did a great job. You couldn't tell you were nervous at all. So thank you.
I've taken a few notes. You made some excellent points and I certainly have very clearly heard, as I've mentioned already from other presenters at committee, the sense of community that people have and their willingness to help each other. So I'm getting that loud and clear. Thank you very much for coming.
Mr. Graydon: I want to thank you also, Mr. Irving, for your presentation, and don't feel bad about being nervous, everybody is. So don't worry about that.
You did a great job of outlining how you feel about this, how you felt about the bill, and you've made it clear that you don't want to see any amendments. Is there anything that you would add to the bill that would make it a better bill for the people of Manitoba?
Mr. Irving: Honestly, I just think leaving it the way it is is the way to go. Allowing businesses that are 18 or plus to make a choice would be the best way to go. Because if I own a business there is no–I'm as confused as you guys were 19 months ago. I did all that research and tried figuring this all out, and I wouldn't want to be in your shoes because it just drove me crazy. And even today I still look at articles. For everything that says positive, there's something negative. I don't know. I just know my body tells me that it's better. I can breathe better and stuff. So I would personally leave it the way it is. It's great and the–like I said, the thing that really made me nervous was the flavouring, because that's what keeps me from going back to tobacco. I probably got 100 bottles sitting on the table of different flavours because every day I want something different, maybe even every hour.
Mr. Chairperson: Okay, thank you very much for your presentation.
I will now call Jordan Vedoya.
Do you have any written materials for the committee?
Mr. Jordan Vedoya (Fat Panda): No, I have not.
Mr. Chairperson: Nope. Please proceed when you're ready.
Mr. Vedoya: Good evening. I would like to start off by saying thank you for taking the time to listen to us. My name is Jordan Vedoya and, to follow suit, I find it fitting to tell you my story about vaping.
It was in the summer of 1995 when I first tried smoking. I was 8 years old. At that time, I wasn't worried about the way it tasted. I wasn't going–I wasn’t worried about what it would do to me in the future or how much it cost. I was more into the fact that everybody around me was doing it; my father, mother, sister, grandma, their family friends, and it was inevitable for me to join the party.
Of course, my parents would have protested, but it–I was really good at hiding it. As the years passed, you know, one cigarette a month transformed into a five-cigarette-a-day habit, and by the time I was 16 I was unable to keep that habit from my parents. Of course, like any reasonable parent, they kicked my butt. But they were unable to properly enforce their wishes that I quit because they themselves were smokers, and by that time I was hooked.
It was around that time that the bylaws had been enacted to prohibit smoking indoors and public spaces, and just like any other smoker, I conformed. But I also continued to smoke at an increasing rate. Regardless of the banned smoking areas and the heavy increases in pricing, fast-forward 10 more years: when I was 26 years old I was still smoking. That has now taken up 18 years of my life. By this time, you know, I'd gone through high school, university, the club scene, construction jobs and a failed relationship and, you know, tons of these things factored into my increasing habit.
Every time I took a breath, I would wheeze. My lungs were so polluted I could hack up large globules of mucus each morning just to get my day started. And, of course, oxygen delivery was such a task that even a simple shower would have me winded. Prior to making the switch, I felt defeated. I never thought that I would be able to go a day without having the urge to spark up a cigarette.
That all changed when I was able to somehow smuggle–or cross the border with a vape that I had purchased in Grand Forks. It was my first glimpse into a life not being controlled by cigarettes. After a few weeks of self-directed trial and error, I was able to get the hang of it. And along with a few good friends of mine who have been lifelong smokers, all together we have been relatively smoke free since 2013. We were all so moved by the product that we were obliged to open up shop and distribute it to the masses. My shop has been open for–or since the winter of 2013 and has been successfully serving the public ever since. From our two years in operation, tens of thousands of people come through our doors with the hope that vaping will be the answer to their addiction. And we will gladly do it every time to help them out. From our interactions with the public we have been able to deduce that the vaping has become an important tool in either helping decrease usage or even actually help people quit, even though we are not allowed to say that.
Among our clientele base, the reports are of people who are drastically decrease their consumption and are quit smoking, has heavily outweighed the number of people who are vaping just to supplement their smoking addiction. In my mind, that is a success.
Due to the complex nature of modern vaping equipment, the success of one's vaping experience is very closely related to a new user's during sales orientation coupled with after-sales follow-up and troubleshooting. Step into any one of the fine brick‑and-mortar stores in our city and you will see highly trained customer sales representatives who engage in thorough conversations to help new customers identify what product they need and what would best suit them.
From the most basic argument, a customer in one of our stores described the transition between cigarettes and personal vaporizers as being equivalent to teaching someone who has never typed a letter on a computer to being able to send and receive emails on a cellphone. They are both similar but are on opposite ends of a spectrum in terms of technological technicality. The fact that people are so enthusiastic to make such a leap should illustrate their desperation to switch. Furthermore, a common misconception that most non-vapers have pertaining to our products is that there is a one-vape-fits-all type of system or that a certain vape flavour will suit all the people.
In the meantime, I will state that, you know, this is hardly the truth and there are thousands of possible product combinations that come into play in order to give us or give the customer the best possible experience. This is the main reason behind having special shops and representatives dedicated to help.
We as a community are heavily invested in ensuring that people get the help they deserve to have the best possible chance at beating their addiction. Because of this, I beg you to prevent from implementing a blackout on product orientation and demonstrations in the store.
I would also like to propose that you do not pursue the ban on flavoured e-liquid. From a vaper's standpoint, flavoured e-liquid is an essential part of product personalization for the end-user. Along with proper orientation, the product's success is directly related to how well a consumer enjoys the product.
The fact of the matter is banning e-juice flavours is irrelevant to any one's best interest as the action could possibly yield to the potential harm of the market by driving e-juice flavouring into unregulated, unsupervised basement concoctions whose procedures will employ practices that are all without recognized health responsibilities. You see, the flavourings common in e-juice are simply food‑based flavouring essences and additives used in the cooking and baking industry. Anyone with access to a grocery store would have the ability to flavour any type of nicotine-free or nicotine-based flavourless e‑liquid. By allowing this to happen, many people run the risk of vaping products that have not been tested to be deemed harmless at atomization point. E-juice companies who are worth stocking voluntarily submit their concoctions for testing to determine if there is any harmful elements contained within.
At the initial inception of Bill 30, I was very happy to see the government's open mind in implementing regulations to the industry to keep it professional, safe and prevent from polluting the minds of children. The children are our future, and we will never do anything to risk that.
Prior to any regulation, my store, along with most if not all the vendors in our city, were keen to prohibit sales to minors. Believe me, the kids got the message quickly. In our two years of operation, we have been rejecting minors from all our stores and ID'ing people to anticipate future regulation. As a matter of fact, we have been so blatant with our enforcement of this rule that it is a rare occurrence for a minor to even attempt to step foot in our locations.
To bring the story full circle, I argue that placing restrictions on demonstrations and flavouring are detrimental to the possible success of one of the most powerful smoking cessation aids the world has ever seen. To be frank, the rules and regulations to prevent underage patronage, usage in indoor areas other than vape stores and public areas frequented by children, non-vapers and non-smokers are great. I can live with those, as they only serve to enforce exercising public responsibility and respect by fellow vapers.
What needs to be done, though, is to help–or what needs to be done to help the children is to get the adults off smoking. This is one truth shared amongst antitobacco activists and vapers alike. Witnessing adults smoking while I was a child was a definite driving force in my early years of acquisition and consumption of tobacco products. Flavours were the last thing on my mind while I was younger, as I never made it a point to buy anything that tasted like fruits or candy in terms of tobacco. I do know that many statistics posted on journals such as drugfree.org or the American Academy of Pediatrics and et cetera show that, all else equal, a parent's smoking habits will lead to a 20 to 35 per cent chance of their children smoking versus a 5 to 8 per cent chance for non-smoking parents.
Please see the importance of this technology to help the general public shy away from tobacco to lead healthier lives and save their children from such debilitating habits. I am confident that you will do the right thing when enacting the rules, regulations, bylaws to help enhance the vaping industry with cutting-edge science and healthier products to empower the addicted.
Coming from an ex-smoker and almost ex-vaper, I can confidently say that I am now armed with the right lifestyle to persuade my children and their peers from touching either of the products we are talking about today, all thanks to vaping. Thank you.
Mr. Chairperson: Thank you for your presentation.
Ms. Crothers: Mr. Vedoya, thank you very much. I have an eight-year-old. Hearing you say that you started smoking at eight sends chills down my spine, I can tell you.
But thank you very much for coming and presenting your perspective. As you know, we are–we have made, in this legislation that's being proposed, the ability for vape shop owners to help educate people that come into their shops and to sample products for the reason that you've explained from your perspective as well. And flavours haven't–they're not in the scope of this piece of legislation.
So I just want to say thank you for coming this evening.
Mr. Graydon: Thank you very much for your presentation, Mr. Vedoya.
But perhaps you could just help us out a little bit. You have a shop and you've said there's number–a number of people that have used your shop in the last couple years. Many of them have quit smoking, of course. But has there been those that have fallen back to cigarettes, and if there was, what type of percentage, in your mind? I mean, it's going to be a ballpark number, but at the same time, after you've worked with them with the professionalism that obviously you've shown here tonight in your presentation, how many people reoffend and fall back?
Mr. Vedoya: It's funny that you ask, because I actually try to let people know that it's all on them; just like anyone who quits, you know, smoking cold turkey, it's going to rely on their willpower. Vaping has provided, I guess, a route for some of the less strong to follow to help aid them, but obviously, with temptation around, there always is the possibility.
One thing's for sure is that people who have successfully, you know, tried vaping and the vaping actually works the way it's supposed to, we have noticed about 60 to 80 per cent of people either decreasing their usage in tobacco products and vaping more.
Mr. Graydon: So, then, you would concur with one of the former presenters that being forced to a smoking section at any of the–at the–any of the major functions would actually increase people to go back to–and being exposed to the cigarette smoke would be forcing them back into that habit?
Mr. Vedoya: Yes, there is the chance that that could happen. But, obviously, there is–there are far a lot of smokers out in public, right, so it is up to the person to be able to stand for what they want to keep doing.
Mr. Ted Marcelino (Tyndall Park): Which part of the e-cigarettes are explosive?
Mr. Vedoya: E-cigarettes by nature are not explosives.
Mr. Marcelino: There's glycol.
Mr. Vedoya: Yes, sir, there is glycol. [interjection]
Mr. Chairperson: Mr. Marcelino.
Mr. Marcelino: Sorry. There's electricity that heats up the glycol or how does that work?
Mr. Vedoya: A battery passes through a heating element which is wrapped around a wick, right. Much like any other powered device–there is a–okay, so there's battery powered passing through a coil that vaporizes liquid at a wick so the glycol or propylene glycol is mixed with vegetable glycerin, along with flavourings and nicotine. In itself, it is not a flammable or explosive concoction.
Mr. Marcelino: Yes. Have you not heard about that guy in the US whose palate was almost destroyed by an explosive e-cigarette?
Mr. Vedoya: I believe that that incident is not representative of e-cigarettes, be it that is a incident that is representative of any type of battery-powered device.
Mr. Marcelino: It could happen.
Mr. Vedoya: As with any type of battery-powered device, it could explode.
Mr. Marcelino: And would you agree that if there should be anything at all that should be added to the bill, it should be about the liability or product liability of all e-cigarette manufacturers?
Mr. Vedoya: In anticipation of these regulations, most, if not all, vendors in the city have practised their due diligence to purchase products from reputable manufacturers that conform with all CE and RoHS electronic regulations.
Mr. Chairperson: Thank you very much for the presentation. Our time for questions and answers is over. So thank you very much.
I will now call on Cierra Giesbrecht. Do you have any written materials for the committee?
Ms. Cierra Giesbrecht (Private Citizen): No, just some notes to help myself stay on track.
Mr. Chairperson: Please proceed when you're ready.
Ms. Giesbrecht: Good evening, Honourable Minister, Mr. Chairman and ladies and gentlemen of the committee. Thank you so much for taking your time to hear me out today.
I'm a–just have a little bit of a different position. I could tell you–sit here and tell you my story. You know, I started vaping in May of 2014, had my last cigarette December 31st, 2014, haven't looked back, will never look back.
Something you've heard a lot of, if vaping is banned everywhere, I'm going back to smoking. Personally, I will never, ever touch a cigarette ever again in my life. However, I want people who are currently smoking to have the opportunity that I did to use that to vape or to quit, I mean.
So I'm here to talk about my brother, actually, my little brother–not so little anymore at 25. I started smoking when I was a teenager, most people do. My brother followed in my footsteps like most little brothers do, looking up to their bigger sibling. He has tried everything over the last few years to quit because he just can't do it anymore. He feels awful, you know, he's 25 and he can't get out of bed in the morning. That's pretty awful.
So he tried the patch, made it about a–well, I say about a month. He tried the lozenges, didn't even make it two days. He tried the patch, he tried the gum, he tried everything. Finally, he tried Champix; he didn't sleep for almost a month because of what Champix did to his psyche. That's a legal drug, 100 per cent legal drug, and it nearly destroyed my brother when he used it to try and quit smoking, all because he wanted this toxin out of his life.
So he said, I'm done with that, picked up smoking. Last summer, he did a really, really, really, great job; quit smoking for nearly three months. He works for the city with a lot of construction guys; a lot of them are smokers, I'm sure everybody knows. Goes back to work. What happens in three days? He picks up a cigarette. So he says to himself, I can't do this anymore. Gets on the phone to me: C, I really need your help. I haven't had a cigarette in six days, and I don't want to go back. Help me. This is after he spent the last year coming down on me for vaping because he didn't understand. He wasn't educated about vaping. So I sat down with him and I spent about two hours educating him on the benefits of vaping: how in two months, my cough was gone, how I went from having chronic bronchitis four to five times a year to since January–I'm currently sick; this is the first time I've been sick with bronchitis.
So he called me and we got him set up with a vape. I gave him one of my old set-ups. This was almost three months ago now. My brother has not had one cigarette since the day I gave him his vaporizer, not one single cigarette. His first pack, his first bottle of juice I gave him, was a six-milligram strength. He comes back two weeks later when that's almost gone and says, Cierra, can you give me something a little lower? I want to get it out of my system. He–I drop him to a three. Not even two weeks later: It's a little too much still; is there anything a little lower? We give him a 1.5. In not even three months, my little brother, who I never ever thought would quit smoking has finally quit smoking, and he is never going to go back. Regardless of the bans, regardless of what happens with this hearing, neither of us will ever go back.
But I want people in the future to have that same chance to be able to do that. And that leads me into the flavouring, the whole flavouring debacle. Everyone's, you know, it's whether we're going to ban it, whether we're not going to ban it. I beg you, please ignore that suggestion. Please ignore that amendment. Everybody's palate is different. I bet you there isn't more than two people at this table whose favourite food is the same. It's the same thing with e‑juice; everybody's palate is different. What works for me isn't necessarily going to work for someone behind me. So we all–we need our flavours. We need that option. I would've never done it had I not had the ability to, you know, switch between different flavours every day, every other day.
The other thing I wanted to touch on today was I am an employee at a vape shop in Winnipeg, and I cannot tell you how rewarding it is. When people come in and they get their starter kit, they're excited. They walk out the door, they come back a few weeks later to buy their juice: You know, I haven't had a cigarette, I have not had a cigarette, thank you. I cannot put into words how rewarding that feeling is. Please, please think about these things.
I'm not here to try and stop Bill 30. I think Bill 30 is very, very important. I fully support it as it was originally written. The Province of Manitoba went above and beyond and did a fantastic job writing this bill. Please consider the implications of the amendments proposed in earlier hearings. As a community, vapers are crying out for regulations. We do want it regulated. We do want to be no longer operating in a legal grey area. We just want to fight for the right regulations. That's all we're asking for. So what I'm standing here to ask you, don't listen to all of the amendments. Consider them strongly. Do your part in giving smokers the opportunity to have a healthier, safer alternative. Choose life.
Thank you very much for your time.
Mr. Chairperson: Thank you for your presentation.
Ms. Crothers: Thank you, Ms. Giesbrecht, for coming. I certainly can hear in your words how passionately you feel about this, and you're certainly not alone. I've heard many others who have felt the impact of this on their lives and those of their loved ones. So thank you. I've heard what you've said, and I fully appreciate what you've come to talk to me about tonight. Thank you very much.
Mr. Cameron Friesen (Morden-Winkler): Thank you, Cierra, for coming to committee this evening and sharing with us. I wanted to ask you a question. We had an earlier presenter this evening talk to us about the ancillary health benefits that followed actually ceasing to smoke. Have you found the same for yourself? I can't imagine after being a regular smoker for so long to be so suddenly–and then, I'm not going back. What has it meant for you in terms of other health benefits?
Ms. Giesbrecht: I'm going to–very similar to another presenter earlier, I quit smoking, and in the last year and a half, even before I started–before I quit, I had started a journey to weight loss. This day, two years ago, I was 367 pounds; I'm now 221.
So, quitting smoking–[interjection]–thank you, thank you so much. Quitting smoking has done so much to help give me the energy. I walk to and from work every day now. I spend an hour outside walking every single day. I have the arthritis of a 90 year old in one knee due to previous injuries and I couldn't enjoy life; now I can enjoy life. I don't smoke, I'm not held back by it and I'm good.
Mr. Chairperson: Okay. Thank you for your presentation and congratulations.
I'd like to now call on Neil Migalski.
Do you have any materials for the committee?
Mr. Neil Migalski (Private Citizen): No, I do not.
Mr. Chairperson: Please proceed when you are ready.
Mr. Migalski: Thank you. I just wanted to give my story to you guys.
About two years ago, a friend of mine got in my car and this was two months before my baby was born. And he had this thing and I was curious. What's that thing? I said, I keep seeing you with a button; why? He says, it's my e-cigarette.
And, at that point in time, I was smoking 25 cigarettes a day. I was getting ready for the baby, so the pressure was on and I was feeling that intense feeling that I'm sure most of you have felt if you've had kids. And I was basically feeling stressed and I said, well, I need to save the money and I really want to save myself; let me give this thing a try. So we ordered one in because at the time there was no stores online–or there was no stores in town; there was just online. So I got my kit. He showed me how to use it correctly, been smoke-free ever since.
And about–it was three and a half months ago, I got a phone call from my sisters and they were bugging me because my mom wasn't answering the phone. And my mom grew up on a tobacco farm in southern Ontario. She had smoked probably from when she was in diapers, but she was–that's–that was her upbringing on that tobacco farm and it was okay to smoke and that carried out with her for her whole life. And like I was saying, three months ago I got a phone call from my sisters worrying about her. I had to stop what I was doing and I ran to her house. My mom was having a stroke on the couch.
I'm just wondering if–excuse me, sorry. I'm just wondering if vaping could have prevented that, and instead of me teaching my mom how to talk tomorrow morning–excuse me–and clearing out her house tonight because it's–possession's being taken tomorrow, if we would be having this–or if I would be having a conversation with her about flavours instead of trying to get her to speak. Because she has no mobility in her right side, she can say water. She can tell you, water, water, water, water, water; and that's about it until we're working in–with the speech pathologist, which costs an absurd amount of money and isn't covered. But we do do that for her every week.
So I just don't want to–I'm okay with C-30 as it is–or Bill 30. But I would like to see the flavours maybe be left alone for people to have that opportunity and to try different things if the one thing doesn't work. And I'm convinced that it was the smoking that caused the stroke because the smoke pack tells me so, and that's basically my story. I kind of did a choppy job of it, but–
Mr. Chairperson: Thank you and, no, you did a fantastic job.
Ms. Crothers: Mr. Migalski, thank you very much, and appreciate that you came to talk, especially about something that's clearly–would be difficult for anyone to stand there and talk about. So–but thank you very much for that. I hope that your mom is able to have a full recovery as quickly as possible, and just want to thank you coming.
Mr. Blaine Pedersen (Midland): Thank you, Neil, for your presentation and your story.
And being a non-smoker, I am asking: you were a smoker, you're doing the e-cigarettes now.
Mr. Migalski: I smoked for–since I was 12 years old.
Mr. Pedersen: But you've quit now and you're on the e-cigarette. Do you–is this a transition for you? Do you feel this is a transition to–do you think you'll be using the e-cigarettes forever or is this–do you think this is a transition for you out of the habit?
Mr. Migalski: I do believe so. It's a transition out of the habit. It has been going on for two years so it's not a quick thing, but I did start at 12 and now I’m down to 1.5 with nicotine, so it's a significant decrease but the ultimate goal is zero and gone.
Mr. Friesen: Yes, thanks for coming tonight. I really enjoyed you presentation. Thanks for making it.
We were hearing from past presenters about the net health benefits they were enjoying, but as a non‑smoker I wanted to ask you because we know how expensive babies are, how far does this lifestyle change put you ahead financially, even if you were about to estimate it to us as a committee?
Mr. Migalski: Well, that's over a year, over a month, if it was over a month I would be saving at least 300 and, you know, by 12 months, 36–yes that's a lot of diapers, that's a lot of diapers and everything else that's starting to come now, too.
Mr. Chairperson: Thank you very much for your presentation. I wish your mother well.
I will now call on Jason Doornink.
Do you have any materials for the committee? [interjection] Okay, please proceed when you're ready.
Mr. Jason Doornink (Private Citizen): Good evening, my name is Jason Doornink. I will have been active in the vaping community for two years on October 6 this year, meaning that at that same time it'll be two years since I've had a cigarette, thanks to vaping.
In that time, I've seen a lot of changes or evolution, if you will, in the industry, meaning most importantly that the vaping devices we are using are improving. They're not just improving in one way; they are improving in just about every aspect you can think of. Most significantly is the introduction of temperature control.
You see, one of the main–one of the many poorly put together studies that the naysayers use far too often is a study about formaldehyde. This study claimed that the formaldehyde is created every time we vapers take a puff. What it failed to mention is the temperature at which the formaldehyde is created and the formaldehyde is only created in a dry-puff condition, meaning that the coil of the atomizer has run dry of e-juice. You might be asking yourself why this is important. Well, it's because with the introduction of temperature-control devices, it's next to impossible to get a dry-puff condition. The device regulates the voltage going to the atomizer so that the temperature of the coil does not exceed a user-set parameter, a safe parameter.
Why is any of that significant? Well, it just goes to show the overall attitude of the vape industry. It started with the invention of the personal vaporizer. A smoker saw a need to make his choice of habit less harmful and that same attitude is applied to vaping every step of the way. How can we make it safer?
At the last hearing we heard from Nicoventures who argued in favour of vaping and the honest truth, and I'm pretty sure I speak for all vapers when I say this, I personally don't want products made by big tobacco. I spent 17 of my last almost 19 years paying big tobacco to kill me. Don't get me wrong; I was naively happy to do so, but now that I found vaping, now that I found my way out of that addiction, I never want to give those companies another dime. The majority of players in the vaping industry are small-time, local, mom-and-pop shops who I am more than happy to support.
Vaping is more than a way out of a life-long addiction to something that kills. When I found vaping I found a community, a family of people who had a viable way out of tobacco addiction and wanted to share it with as many smokers as they could who would support me through tough times in my transition. These weren't friends that I had for a few years or longer. No, these were people I had just met or technically had not even met yet, totally random people that actually cared whether or not I kicked tobacco to the curb, not health organizations telling me how to quit but real people showing me a real, viable way to quit smoking for good.
I have followed the vape scene since I was first introduced to vaping so I've seen all the other proposed legislations, and while I will admit that Manitoba has the most vape-friendly legislation, I need to make perfectly clear that some of the amendments proposed to you at previous hearings are absolutely ridiculous, the first being that certain groups do not want any vaping in any indoor space, including vape shops.
I cannot tell you how detrimental this would be to smokers looking to switch to vaping, which we've already heard a lot of, and I'm reiterating things you've already heard. But I'm going to say my bit too. A very large part of finding success with vaping is trying and finding flavours you like, which you do in a vape shop.
That brings me to the next proposed amendment, is the flavours. What is interesting about the flavours used in e-juice is that they are nothing like the flavours of ice cream or vodkas or anything else that's flavoured; they are much more finicky than that. A vaper will find a flavour that they absolutely love at the store but will not love that flavour after vaping 30 millilitres or one bottle of it. They will then need to go to a vape shop again to find another flavour to fall in love with for the next couple of weeks. It has to do a lot with growing accustomed to a flavour. I have had many favourites over my two years of vaping, but I have only found one flavour that I bought continually for more than one month. Every other flavour I have bought on a regular basis was only my favourite for one or maybe two weeks, and then I probably never purchased it again.
While we are talking about flavours I'll say this. Flavours are extremely important in the world of vaping. I, for example, like, I'm sure, many vapers, started out with a tobacco flavour. I quickly grew tired of the tobacco flavour as it was part of what I was trying to get away from. If I hadn't picked up bottles of cherry, strawberry, sugar cookie and watermelon candy, I'm quite sure I would have just returned to smoking cigarettes. The ability to get other flavours is what keeps a lot of people vaping. The search for the best flavour is what kept me going, and you know what? Two years later and I'm still looking for the perfect flavour.
A lot of opponents of vaping want to limit flavours, saying flavours are aimed at children. Then, I must ask all of you here, when is the last time you opted for an unflavoured version of anything? Surely, key lime pie is a better option than just a pie crust filled with whipped cream, and who doesn't love the addition of butterscotch or strawberries or cherries to their ice cream? Even vodka, which has such a wide variety of flavours, hasn't been deemed as aimed at children and, let's face it, who drinks vodka straight? I know I don't; I add something to it with flavour, like orange juice. That goes for pretty much any type of alcohol too. You add coke to rye to give it more flavour or rum to pineapple juice for the same reason. So, no, flavours are not aimed at children; they are aimed at adults who enjoy options of flavours. Also, the already proposed legislation of not allowing anyone under the age of consent into a vape shop together with not being allowed to advertise outside of a vape shop would limit a child's knowledge of the available flavours, making that entire argument moot.
Here's a paragraph that I pulled directly from the proposed bill: E-cigarette means "a product or device, whether or not it resembles a cigarette, containing a power source and heating element designed to vaporize an e-substance for inhalation or release into the air"–which, by the way it is worded, would also limit the use of fog machines in this province to casinos and bars at their discretion. This would be unfortunate for travelling shows such as Cirque du Soleil or the Marvel Universe show I attended this summer. At the opening of the Marvel Universe show, a disclaimer was made over the PA system saying that they employ the use of theatrical fog and that it is perfectly safe; it just looks like smoke. I had to laugh when I heard this, knowing that the venue has disallowed the use of e-cigs in their establishment.
When you take a look at the liquids used in both e-cigs and fog machines, they are virtually identical. The only differences are that in e-cigarettes there can be nicotine present which is absorbed almost entirely by the user, and, in a fog machine liquid, they add bleach to reduce the buildup of organic material like mould.
So, really, what would be worse for someone to inhale? Second-hand vapour from an e-cig user, which we already know is 95 to 99 per cent safer for the user and has zero impact to bystanders that may be subjected to second-hand vape, or vaporized bleach what hasn't been studied at all but is allowed to be used in fog machines virtually anywhere, including children's shows, concerts at a wide variety of venues and bars–leading me to believe that the only reason vaping or e-cig use is frowned upon is simply because it looks like smoking. It requires the same act as smoking, which would mean that what you are proposing is regulating an action similar to smoking.
All that said, I must ask another question of you. Are you using science or emotion when proposing these changes? I was under the impression that science takes precedent over emotion when creating legislation that limits people's ability to find a safer alternative to a social problem that we've had for as long as, I'm sure, most people in this room can remember.
Another favourite argument for opponents to vaping is that we don't know what's in it or we need more studies done. I'm sure that by now you've had a chance to go through the pages and pages and pages of science and studies that you were provided at the last hearing that prove that the argument of we don't know what's in it is just not true. Not only do we know what's in it, we know it is virtually 100 per cent safe. I say virtually only because nothing can be proven 100 per cent safe, not even water or oxygen, both of which have the potential to kill a human in specific circumstances. So being that vaping has scientifically been proven more than once to be virtually completely safe, why is it that we are creating legislation limiting its use? It must be emotion.
I understand the scent argument and that some people are sensitive to certain scents, so I agree with limiting its use in some public places. But this is not something that, in my opinion, needs to be legislated. It should be left up to establishment owners to allow it or not, which is what is being done for bars and casinos.
At the last hearing, we heard from a gentleman representing the Hotel Association who said it wasn't fair to some bar owners who would have to tell their clients that while they can't vape at their establishment, you can do it at the one across the street. Well, I'm sorry, but isn't that how the free market works? He can provide a vape-free place for people that don't want to be around it, while others can provide a vape-friendly place for those of us who would wish to be able to vape indoors, and we can.
If harm can't be proven, which up until now it has not, how can a government step in to limit it? Better yet, why is it that some methods of quitting smoking have been proven dangerous, namely Champix, yet have no limits whatsoever? Also, being that harm cannot be proven, why is it that you are proposing banning vaping in vehicles when children under the age of 17 are present? I would like to officially propose my own amendment at this time, and that is I would like to have the consequential amendment to The Highway Traffic Act saying that when a child under the age of 17 is present in a private vehicle, e-cigarette use shall be prohibited, removed from this proposed amendment, at least until such a time that harm to bystanders can be proven beyond a doubt. If harm can be proven to bystanders, I would stop using my personal vaporizer around my children without a government authority telling me to.
And I'd like to close with this. I lost my father last year to cancer. He smoked about two packs a day for 50 years. And I know for a fact that if this technology were around when he was my age, my daughters would still have their opa. Please don't make my grandchildren have to stand up in front of an audience 30 to 40 years from now to talk about how they would still have their grandfather around if it weren't for governments being so closed-minded about this safe alternative to tobacco. Thank you.
Mr. Chairperson: Thank you for your presentation.
Ms. Crothers: Thank you, Mr. Doornink, for coming this evening and presenting a very thorough delivery of your perspective on this. I've made note of the amendment that you've proposed. Thank you very much for coming.
Mr. Graydon: Thank you very much for coming tonight, Mr. Doornink, and very–a very well put together, well thought out presentation. And tonight we've heard from a number of people that talk about the community that–the vaping community that has helped each other. In the city of Winnipeg, you have a large community, a large number of communities that help each other. But, if we were to look at this over a larger area, say, the size of the province, and after listening to what you were saying, that we were going to use science versus emotion and so on and so forth, do you believe that a passive type of advertising would help promote this to help the people that want to quit smoking? I mean, first you have to have that mentality. Do you want to quit smoking? I'm a past smoker. You have to want to do whatever you want to do, but at the same time, this here is a crutch to do that. Would that be one of the recommendations that you would make to the minister?
Mr. Doornink: Absolutely. I think education is a very largely understated part of this. I think that educating everybody as a whole would go a long way to promote this and get a lot of people to stop smoking. I myself was a smoker for 17 years, and I loved it. I loved smoking. I thoroughly enjoyed smoking. I never wanted to quit. I figured I was going to be 80, smoking on my deathbed. I–my cousin showed me e-cigarettes and vaping, and it took me two weeks to completely transition to vaping, but I will never go back to a cigarette. Cierra said it before I did, and I'll say it again: I am part of the group that will never go back to cigarettes, and I know that for a fact.
Mr. Graydon: So, when you say, it took you two weeks to do this, to quit, actually quit smoking, when you–from the time that you started. You–then you had help doing this from–support from other vapers? Is that something like AA for alcoholics? And, you know, I'm using that terminology, but at the same time, that's basically what it is, and yet you're being forced in some venues to go and vape where there's cigarette smoke. You've had–you had the advantage of people to help you quit. Is that something that you would promote or that the minister and the government–the whole government, should be promoting?
Mr. Doornink: Yes, absolutely. I think the government should be promoting–it's an opinion, I know it's just my opinion, but I think the government should be wholeheartedly promoting vaping. I think it should be prescribed to smokers by doctors like they're suggesting doing in the UK. I would 100 per cent agree with Manitoba Health covering all or some of the cost of at least getting started with vaping for current smokers. I think that it is a very disruptive technology for smoking and I can personally see the end of smoking because of vaping.
Mr. Chairperson: Thank you for your presentation.
I will now call on Leroy Kehler.
Do you have any materials for the committee?
Mr. Leroy Kehler (Private Citizen): My name is Leroy Kehler. Can you hear me okay? All right.
Now I won't be long. I have a couple of observations and a few comments.
Approximately 101 years ago when the big war started the young soldiers were given cigarettes for free not knowing that 100 years later we'd have an epidemic of cancer, tuberculosis, bronchitis, emphysema, go on and on. So 35 years ago we were still smoking in hospitals. I know I was. Then you get this influx like there's two to 300 kinds of cancer out there, 70 of them are determined to be related to long-time smoking, and I know I'm talking about tobacco consumption, cigarettes.
So along comes 10 years ago, in the States, the e‑cigarette. We don't know the consequences of the vaper smoke as that gentleman over there wears on his T-shirt. Well, the way I see it, if we pollute our bodies with any kind of chemical, smoke, whatever, it's going to rebel. I don't know, nobody knows what's in the vapour that's exhaled out of an e‑cigarette. All I know is I can't see it being any good.
In my opinion, mine only, second-hand smoke, it's been determined 800 to 1,200 people in Canada alone die of it, 30–40–47,000 to 50,000 a year from cancer related to tobacco. I don't know what it's going to take in a human mind to just figure it out, anything that pollutes the body is not good. And thank you very much.
Mr. Chairperson: Thank you, Mr. Kehler. Did you want to have any questions from the committee?
Ms. Crothers: Mr. Kehler, thank you very much for coming this evening and sharing your perspective. I'm very appreciative to have you here. Thank you.
Mr. Graydon: Yes, I'd like to thank you as well for coming tonight and for making the presentation, obviously it has been a bit of a challenge for you, but we really appreciate the fact that you did come. Thank you.
Floor Comment: I thank you and have a good evening.
Mr. Chairperson: Thank you very much, you too.
I will now call the last person–or Marianne Curtis again from the beginning. This is the second and last call for Marianne Curtis. No? Okay. She's now going to be struck off the list.
This is the list of presenters that we have in front of us.
Is there anybody else wishing to make a presentation tonight in the room? No.
Okay, that concludes the list for tonight.
Before we rise, it would be appreciated if members would leave behind the copies of the bills so they may be collected and reused for tomorrow's meeting.
The hour being 8:50–sorry, 7:50, what is the will of the committee?
Some Honourable Members: Rise.
Mr. Chairperson: Committee rise.
COMMITTEE ROSE AT: 7:50 p.m.
Re: Bill 30
I truly don't believe that e-juice flavors are targeting minors, why should such restrictions be put into place? You have snack foods in variety of flavors targeted for adults to lower calorie intake, caffeine and vitamin filled energy drinks with bright attractive logos, alcoholic drinks in flavors targeted for adult men & women in a multitude of flavors, flavored shisha tobacco for traditional hookah use, there are no restrictions on these and yet one might say this could be persuading minors to partake in the intake of these substances, but we as adults looking to quit smoking and delight the taste buds at the same time are being punished as attempting to target minors for creating a flavor such as candy cane (Christian traditional candy) or bubble gum which was invented by an adult for adults, and yet you deem this as proof of targeting minors for nicotine delivery. The audacity of whomever made these claims is ridiculous.
I'd like to also point out from previous experiences as I started smoking at 12 years old, let me tell you, there isn't one child out there who is going to maintain a high tech piece of technology, purchase pricey flavored e-liquids, cottons, wires, batteries, chargers, and continue to do so for the remainder of that child's childhood, for the sake of nicotine intake, when all the child in question has to do, is ask a friend for a smoke, take one from their parents, or buy one for 1$ from any stranger seen smoking in public. You as a committee refuse to accept the reality of tobacco use in teenagers, the restriction of the sale of cigarettes does not stop a smoking teenager when all one must do is ask "hey can you pick me up a pack of smokes".
I am attempting to quit smoking through the use of electronic cigarettes, and one side effect is continuing to 'vape' on a singular flavor dulls the taste buds and therefore changes the overall experience of my smoking cessation, this is one reason why vendors are creating a multitude of flavors, oh and another reason would be that were all human beings with 5 senses and hundreds of thousands of taste buds. Why do people taste wine or eat exotic foods? Because its delightful, as is the flavors that can be created in e-juices for adults to enjoy and stimulate our own senses.
I would also like to point out I'm in favor of banning electronic cigarettes in public spaces where children may be present, such as restaurants or hotels, but not the stores themselves that sell these devices, indoor "house" pollution is a threat to our lungs enough as is, there is no need to add ultra-fine particulate to the air we breathe when most indoor air is hardly good quality air itself.
Re: Bill 30
I'm fine with having to abide by the same rules tobacco smokers have to follow but I am strongly against not being able to vape my favorite flavor, grape crush. I had been smoking tobacco for 15 years and 6 months ago started vaping and haven't had a single cigarette since. I do not like tobacco flavor or menthol and believe it would be a huge mistake to remove all the candy flavors. I understand it may make it appealing to kids but by the same mentality then would you ban the sale of candy flavored alcohol, they're both not meant for kids. If you make it so people can't get flavored juices you’re just gonna be forcing people to find it through less legitimate venues which also raising concerns about quality control on top of destroying plenty of local small businesses that have been thriving on this new market.
Re: Bill 30
This letter is in response to Bill 30. I am writing to tell you how vaping has changed my life for the better. I have been a smoker for 33 years and believed that I would never be able to stop. I know a lot of people enjoy smoking. I never enjoyed it. I hated the taste of it, disliked the smell of it and I am pretty sure I was allergic to cigarettes. I spent 33 years of my life not being able to breathe out of my nose because it was constantly plugged up and I had a horrible cough.
Both my parents smoked and my Father passed away from cancer at the age of 65. Three years later they found a spot on my mother's lung. Within the month, she had passed. She was 63. You would think that would be incentive enough to get me to quit but I couldn’t do it. I was allergic to the adhesive on the patch. I can’t chew gum because of my dental work and it tastes horrible. I have tried acupressure and hypnosis. Nothing worked until vaping.
I'm not here to say that it was easy to quit but it was something I could do to get through the terrible cravings. I coughed a lot those first few weeks but after the first month, I could breathe easier. It was wonderful to go for a walk and not get winded. I couldn’t believe how much better I felt.
I have heard that the bill is proposing to only have tobacco or menthol flavours. I would like to think that I still would have quit using vaping when those would have been my only flavour options but I can't say that for sure because I never like the taste of a cigarette. Also, if we are not allowed any flavours because they could entice kids, then I am sure you will be removing all the flavoured cigars from store shelves.
It is sad to me that these large health organizations seem to want to keep us sick and addicted. I would think that they would be in favour of anything that helps us stop smoking. Vaping has saved my life and hopefully extended it so that I will get to know my grandchildren better than my parents got to know theirs.
Re: Bill 30
Re: Bill 30
My name is Laura, and I am a vaper. I would like to start off with what vaping has done for me. I have been smoking since I was 12, I quit while I was pregnant with my first child but only till after he was born. With my second child I found it a lot harder to quit, in fact I didn’t. In between children I had a heart surgery, started smoking almost as soon as I got out of the hospital. Not one of the healthiest choices to make but one that was made. However, I am now parenting my second son, by myself. His dad is in the hospital suffering the effects of a pretty big stroke. He had been smoking a lot longer than I had; I figure that someone has to be around to parent this little guy. So I’ve made the decision to quit, not only for myself but for my sons. Now I go to school, most of the people that go to my school smoke as well. Not only is it unhealthy but it stinks. They have been skeptical about vaping, until I got a flavour called, "Snozz berry". Then everyone started reciting "Willy Wonka" to me. Now, if I wanted to taste nothing when I vape (which is something I would never want) then I would just not vape. We as a people, Canadians pride ourselves on being a "Melting Pot" of cultures, races, opinions and much much more. If everyone only had the choice of the same meal day in and day out, there would be no diversity, no enjoyment of making (For the sake of healthy) a different salad every day. What I am trying to say is, if there were no flavours to be had with vaping, that would be like taking away our right to try a healthy, more flavourful alternative to all the junk we put in our bodies every day. Now I am no professional, but the only thing that vape juices have in common with cigarettes is nicotine. And to my unprofessional understanding nicotine was actually FDA approved: nicotine gum and patches as prescription products between 1984 and 1992. So, with that being said, being as that is the only similarity between tobacco and E-cigarettes, they really shouldn’t be lumped together in one Bill. Make it two Bills, one for tobacco products and one for vaping products. Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration.
Re: Bill 30
It seems like a lifetime ago, a young 12 year old Alberta boy spent his summers in the small farming town of Beiseker, hauling grain from the wheat fields to the elevators.
I was a young pup among a pack of seasoned old dogs.
Yes, I learned to drive a truck. I also learned to love the taste of black-pot coffee, chewing tobacco, snuff and of course cigarettes! It took a while, but in time, I could twist up a rollie better than most of those old boys!
By the end of the summer, most of my t-shirts and jeans proudly displayed cigarette burn holes in them, my fingers and hands were stained a putrid, yellowy brown from the tobacco and tars of my rollies, and my teeth… well, unlike the old farmers who could pop their choppers into a cup each night, I just never got into the habit of having a toothbrush in the truck with me all summer!
Both my Mom and Dad were heavy smokers and viewed smoking cigarettes as a relaxing, pleasurable, social pastime. Everyone in their family smoked, all their friends smoked, everywhere they went, smoking was welcomed and ashtrays were plentiful. Fearing the pot calling the kettle black, there was little resistance discovering their son was now a smoker as well.
To add fuel to the fire, according to the medical profession and every major media source, smoking really wasn't that bad for you. As a cigarette smoker, any ordinary individual could be portrayed as suave and debonair, manly and rebellious or glamorous and elegant… with a cigarette dangling from their lips!
As the years rolled by, this now long-distance trucker's casual smoking habit had slowly developed into a full blown addiction. I no longer smoked for the pleasure or relaxation, or because I wanted to look cool. I was devouring 3 packs a day… seven days a week! My breathing had become a little harder, my stamina a little shorter. The annoying pains in my neck, back, arms and shoulders became more frequent.
Then on a weekend layover in 1980... I had my first heart attack at age 23. The cardiologist told me I was extremely lucky. There was minimal damage, but I seriously needed to consider quit smoking.
Within 10 days, I was back on the road again, armed with an inhaler and several bottles of heart medication, and happily puffing away again.
Over the next 20 years, the medical and pharmaceutical fields slowly altered their attitude somewhat toward smoking. Many products and procedures were developed to assist a smoker to end their addiction. Unfortunately, the majority of these so called stop-smoking aides and procedures were funded by big-tobacco companies and major pharmaceutical corporations, and of course millions of our tax dollars! They were never intended to successfully help someone to quit. They did however, pacify the masses and dupe millions into thinking their doctors and even their government was committed to helping them return to a normal, healthy lifestyle. During those 20 dark years, I spent literally thousands of dollars trying every method imaginable to quit. From patches and pills, gum, lozenges, inhalers, acupuncture, laser therapy, hypnosis and even herbal remedies… with absolutely no success. As a matter of fact, there was a period I was wearing 3 nicotine patches at the same time, and still smoking a full pack of cigarettes a day.
In the fall of 2004, I suffered my 2nd heart attack. I once again managed to survive, but this time with significant damage. Along with 3 drug eluding stent implants, I also developed Primary Arterial Fibrosis as well as an advanced stage of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
After several weeks in the hospital and three months recuperation, I had come to the conclusion that I was a walking dead man. Smoking is the only addiction I was ever a total and utter slave to. I was helpless and hopeless. After many unsuccessful attempts, my willpower was not strong enough to simply quit cold turkey. I had absolutely no success with any of the stop-smoking aides currently available. I was destined to end up like so many others.
Both my Mother and Father passed away from coronary disease. Grandparents on both sides, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and so many friends have passed away due to coronary heart disease, lung and throat cancer and emphysema. How could I possibly think I would be any different?
In 2007, still searching for that "Magical Pill", a friend suggested I try a Cig-A-Like electronic cigarette. It resembled the size and shape of a real cigarette, and delivered a small puff of vapor with each draw. The kit was expensive, the cartridges containing e-liquid tasted terrible, and it didn’t feel at all like smoking.
My curiosity though, led me to research electronic cigarettes myself, and the options available, when I began to see success some of my friends were having with switching to vaping from smoking, and their claims of greatly improved health.
It didn’t take long to discover that the public was being duped by well-funded entities using financial, political and media based influences to perpetrate a slick campaign of lies, thinly veiled as science. The intentionally deceitful propaganda that has been fed to the public is shamefully, intellectually dishonest, scientifically incorrect, morally questionable and counterintuitive to public health and safety.
I was astonished to find that in most cases, the scientific method was either not followed properly, or was so terribly skewed in the compiling and submission of the data through omission of methods used.
Studies were cherry picked for extreme results, to extreme parameters of testing, and labeling them as baseline data. This is not good science. This is a house of cards meant to incite a specific reaction in people, and it has infiltrated the mindset of the general public to foster a specific reaction. After all vaping sort of looks like smoking… so, if it walks like a duck, it must be a duck!
Everyone has an opinion regarding vaping… well they like to call it an opinion, because it sounds good and gives it personal value. As I see it, choosing to be wrong is willful ignorance and not an opinion. This is a flaw in thinking that disallows new information to be accepted called cognitive dissonance. As an example, I like peperoni on pizza and not pineapple. This is an opinion, simply because there is no right or wrong answer.
To state that ecigarettes are harmful to the user, the general public, and a threat to children is not a valid opinion according to mountains of research… it is choosing to be wrong. There are clear right and wrong answers to the questions at hand, and just because you want to believe your intellectually dishonest version of information, doesn’t make it an opinion, it simply makes you wrong. When well‑funded interest groups pay for science to give them the results they want, the scientists will often bend the research and data to the will of their benefactors. Not to say they are doing bad science, but using good science to get the results they are being paid to get. The vaping industry is not a coordinated group with funding and government grants to challenge this research. By the time funds are raised to challenge the science, the damage is already done.
I do not speak lightly when I say that ecigarettes may be one of the most important harm reduction products of the last decade. To demonize such an important and virtually harmless product because some charlatans say maybe, it might one day possibly show negative side effects. If and when that day comes, like everything else, we can deal with it then.
To treat anything as harmful when there is compelling data to the contrary, opens the door to all sorts of off-the-wall ideas. A prime example would be the banning of vaccinations because a fringe group of puppets have found some pseudo-science to support their claims that vaccines are harmful, in spite of the wealth of data that has debunked it!
On the same note, vaping is not smoking, and smoking is not vaping. To smoke any tobacco related product, be it a cigarette, cigar or pipe, a user is required to ignite with a flame the combustible, carcinogen and chemical laden dried tobacco leaf, and suck the highly toxic billow into their lungs. The residual odor from the exhaust lingers in the air for long periods of time, and clings to everything it comes into contact with. It is a proven fact that second-hand smoke is as harmful as smoking itself!
Vaping on the other hand, consists of a battery‑driven electronic heating device (mod) attached to an atomizer (e-juice holder). The user simply presses a firing button which heats up an element (similar to a toaster element), bringing an e‑juice saturated wick (usually cotton) to a point where it begins to give off a flavorful vapor. Think of it like a pot of water simmering on the stove, or a warm-mist vaporizer. E-juice is composed of vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine and flavoring. These four elements have been proven time and time again, to be absolutely safe for inhalation. It has also been documented many, many times by independent testing laboratories, physicians, cardiologists and pulmonologists around the globe, that second-hand vapor dissipates into the atmosphere within several seconds, and is no more harmful than the air we currently breathe!
I’m very proud to say, both my wife and I have recently celebrated our two-year anniversary of being completely smoke free! Although the damage has already been done and can’t be reversed, any further damaged has come to a complete standstill. For the first time in more years than I can remember, I can taste food again, my stuffy nose has completely cleared up, all the wheezing in my chest has disappeared, my hands, hair and entire wardrobe no longer retains the stench of stale, old tobacco smoke! My family physician and cardiologists are completely on-board with my vaping, and are totally thrilled with the dramatic change to my health!
The incredible selection of e-juice flavors currently available are not only pleasantly fragrant and enjoyable, but proved to be instrumental in my success in quitting smoking. Although I began my vaping journey with a tobacco flavored e-juice, I found myself seeking more and different flavors. I was happy to find that many allowed me to continue on my road to success. I am also happy that we can sample e-juices in vape shops before we buy them, to make better purchasing decisions. This too, is an integral part of my success. It is also vital to the success of vendors. If we cannot try before we buy, where is the incentive to buy locally? Why wouldn't I just order my e-juice online from the U.S. at a lower price? I might mention, I find it ridiculous, almost laughable, that some assume candy and dessert flavored e-juices are produced to attract the attention of children! It may come as a surprise to those uneducated masses, but most adults have a sweet-tooth as well! I for one, personally like cotton-candy, bubblegum, butterscotch and caramel flavored e‑juices!
The up and coming generation is much more aware now, and distrustful of our government and its agents. This is simply due to the fact they know what is perpetrated for self-interest, and not in the interest of the people.
You as legislators, have a choice to make. You can choose to bow to the pressures of well-funded groups serving a sinister self-purpose, using logically fallacious information… or you can take the time to look over the many conclusive reports and studies, and make informed, educated decisions based on correct information using good and unbiased science. As public servants, it is incumbent upon you to work in the best interests of the people you are working for. It is incumbent upon you to make informed decisions in the interest of Canadian citizens and Manitoba residents. It is imperative for you to be honest in your dealings. Willful ignorance is no excuse for making wrong decisions now, when the information is provided.
When future generations look back and judge the scourge of tobacco on the human race and how the complicacy of government allowed millions to become addicted to tobacco and die for a bit of tax money, what will they say about you? What will they say about legislators who had an opportunity to be a part of helping hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people globally to live, to quit, to enjoy good health again? What will they say about you, if you deny people an opportunity to improve their quality of life because some slick well-funded special interest groups led you down the garden path?
"Doc" Allan Wald
Re: Bill 30
Please don't ban flavoured e-juice
I am 51 years old and have smoked since 16 years old. Vaping is the only thing that has helped me cut back on cigarettes. All the other stop-smoking methods involve giving up on most or all aspects of the mentally-stress-reducing habit. E-cigs let you puff on something that makes what looks like smoke. My lungs feel so much better having vaped for over a year now which has allowed me to reduce my cigarette intake to below 8 per day. I don't care if it is banned in stores like cigarettes. It needs to have some control around it just to keep the kids from starting smoking because of e-cigs but for those of us who are trying to quit smoking this vaping is a God‑sent. I personally know at least 6 other people that have quit or drastically reduced their smoking by vaping and they all say their lungs feel better like mine. I'm telling you this is real. I don't know why the government has allowed all those harmful chemicals to be added to cigarettes, without them smoking may not be that dangerous like vaping but that's not the way it is.
As a natural progression of quitting smoking I have started vaping other flavours, I used to only vape tobacco flavours until recently but now want to take the next step to putting smoking behind me but need to puff on something in the meantime until I can quit smoking and than vaping.
Re: Bill 30
I write this as an ex smoker of 45 years who has now stopped smoking for over 6 months and have no intention or desire to ever smoke again.
I have tried to quit many, many times over several years with no success, until, I discovered e-cigs / vaping.
I an extremely concerned when I here that uninformed, uneducated people are attempting to restrict and inhibit me and others to continue this satisfying and healthy beneficial practice of vaping buy legislating such ridiculous controls as making it illegal to sample flavored e-juice in stores and reducing my access to flavoring so that is one of the many reasons I was drawn to the practice of vaping.
Vaping is the tool that was instrumental in my ability to finally quit the despicable dirty habit that I knew was killing me..
Vaping saved my life.......
Please do not infringe on my right to continuing to choose a healthy and enjoyable alternative to the deadly addiction to smoking cigarettes.
Resident of St. Boniface
Citizen of Canada ( A Free Country)
Re: Bill 30
Good morning my name is Tyler Korman
I am contacting you to explain my views on e‑cigarettes/Vaporizers for Bill 30 The Non-Smokers Health Protection Amendment Act (E-Cigarettes)
First of all I would like to mention that e-cigarettes are not tobacco. I can't emphasize this enough.
I started Vaping a year and a half ago and it helped me quit smoking over night.
The variety of flavours is really important to me so that I don't get bored of it and go back to smoking cigarettes. Although there isn't many studies done about Vaping I know plenty of people including myself who have lost weight, feel and look healthier, got their sense of taste back, and can breathe better. I know with Vaping for myself my immune system has made an incredible boost. A friend of mine was a huge asthmatic and since she started Vaping she has not used her inhaler.
Vaping is an incredible alternative and we should have our rights to Vape!
Re: Bill 30
I haven't had a cigarette in 13 days. That's a big deal. I have tried time and time again to quit smoking. I've used patches (that left blisters on my skin) and gum (that left sores in my mouth), champix (one long drawn out drug induced psychotic nightmare, not surprised they warn about suicidal tendencies in the literature for this stuff) and cold turkey. All government approved smoking cessation aids. I've given myself every reason in the book to quit. My health, my finances, my family, especially my son. It looks awful. It tastes awful. It smells awful. None of that matters. Every time I've tried I've failed. Every time I feel like I've lost an old friend and stomp around making every one around me miserable and acting like a three year old until I give up and fail at quitting and start smoking again. Every time this has happened...until this time. This time I had my ecigarette and my ejuice and I have successfully vaped my way through 13 days and it's been relatively painless.
I have done my research. Instead of several thousand chemicals there are only a few. Instead of inhaling combusted and carcinogenic compounds I'm breathing unburnt vapour and exhaling virtually nothing. Nicotine is no more harmful to me than caffeine according to many scientists and the amount I exhale is negligible. The entire United Kingdom has declared it a safe and viable smoking cessation aid. All of these things are wonderful to know but I know the most important fact of all. It works. Thirteen days in and I can smell things. My environment is a whirlwind of smells I didn't realize were there. I'm starting to taste things. Wow. The flavours I've missed out on. And there will be more. My cough is improving. My breath is improving. I am actually hopeful that this time I may just beat this and break the hold cigarettes have had on me since I was 13 and it's all thanks to vaping.
That brings me to another point. The Heart and Stroke Foundation and Cancer Care Manitoba should be embracing these products as the miracle they are. I believe that vaping may end smoking and the research is starting to show that may just be true. Instead of encouraging further research and helping to ensure it is as safe as possible they appear to be jumping on the "what about the children?" aspect and fighting against it. The number one way so far to quit the habit that causes the most risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer and they want to take it away from consenting adults because kids like flavours? Legislating it for 18+ is common sense. Making it legal for establishments to send it outside is just fine. Their place, their choice. But taking it out of vape shops and taking away the flavours is preposterous. Alcohol kills way more people, including youths, every year than vaping ever has and we aren't trying to take drinking out of bars and deny people flavoured liquor. Having candy flavoured ejuice isn't going to make kids vape. Kids don't smoke because smoking is cool. They smoke because it's a taboo thing adults do and being an adult is cool. Quitting smoking isn't cool, it's kind of pathetic really and kids aren't too stupid to see that. So all that will be accomplished by banning vaping in vape shops and taking away the flavours is to sabotage local small businesses and chase money out of our province when everyone has to order decent ejuice online. It will make it more difficult to take up vaping as a safer alternative to smoking and as a gateway to living smoke free.
So I am writing this heartfelt plea to the committee. Please don't destroy this hope of a smoke free future. Please don't take this away from my father (50-year smoking habit, two packs a day) and my sister (20‑year habit) who are both also using vaping to quit smoking. Please don't take this away from me. Thirteen days may not seem like a lot but for me it's a humongous success that I hope to keep going until I'm smoke free for good. Please don't take this away from my son, who is only three and needs his mom to quit so I can be there for him. Please don't take this away from these small local vape shops who are creating jobs and contributing to our communities as well as helping to cure so vary many of the curse that is smoking. Please don't listen to the ignorant fear mongering going on by people and organizations that are spreading around half truths that are daily being debunked instead of embracing something that helps prevent the causes they're claiming to be trying to cure.
Thank you for your time and this opportunity to share my story.
Re: Bill 30
to whom it may concern: i have been smoke free since nov3/2014. and this idea of regulating flavored evape liquids is crazy. considering you have to be eighteen years old to even buy this. so on the same hand maybe you should ban apple flavored beer. cause it could cause minors to start drinking. i realize what my concern is doesnot matter. all i know is i have all other methods with no success until i tried evape. and hopefully in the next little while i will no longer need it. thank you for your time in this matter.