Company challenges constitutionality of Nova Scotia's ban on flavoured vaping liquids
HALIFAX -- After Nova Scotia banned the sale of flavoured vape products as of April 1, a vape shop owner has closed two of the three locations she was operating.
"Our sales have plummeted," said Margaret Preston. "Sixty percent down, which is huge, like we're hanging on by a string."
That means Preston doesn't have the money to go to court, but she's glad someone else does.
"The big question is how is this helping anybody?" Preston said. "The other thing is you're hurting more people, you're unemploying people."
The legal application is on behalf of The Cloud Factory, which according to court documents filed this week is challenging the province's ban on flavoured vaping liquids on the grounds that it violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
It's a move backed by the Canadian Vaping Association, which says Nova Scotia's regulations restrict consumers who vape to quit smoking.
"We've ignored a large portion of Nova Scotians who have used this to reduce their harm greatly," said Darryl Tempest of theCanadian Vaping Association."The Nova Scotia government has actually put their only access to a regulated retailer out of business."
The Lung Association of Nova Scotia supports the laws, but is concerned that they're not always being followed.
Federal law means advertising shouldn't be seen by anyone under 19, but Mohammed al-Hamdani of the Lung Association of Nova Scotia says it's still happening.
"When you go to some of the websites for certain vape shops, on the main page, one of the main things that would pop at you, would be flavored products," al-Hamdani said.
They're prohibited in the province, but CTV News obtained a receipt, showing an 'orange creamsicle flavoured' e-juice sold to an online consumer using a Nova Scotia address.
"The fact that it would encourage experimentation and that it would entice youth to use these products, is certainly enough to suggest that we need the flavour ban," al-Hamdanisaid.
The province, says there has been "high compliance" among retailers. It's issued one ticket for violating the flavour ban.
Back at Preston's shop, she is bracing for Nova Scotia's new vaping product tax, which will add an extra 50 cents per millilitre to the cost of vaping liquid.
"And that's why a lot of companies have closed, because there's just no way," Preston said.
The tax takes effect Tuesday and is also being challenged in court.