N.S. vaping community concerned with pending regulations
HALIFAX -- In many vape shops across Nova Scotia, of the hundreds of bottles of vape juice on the shelf, the vast majority are flavoured. However, as of April 1, 2020, flavoured vape juices will be banned – leaving many in the vaping community concerned.
“I don't know about other shop owners, but it's certainly going to hurt my business significantly,” says Halifax Cloud Company owner, Nick Flynn. “I don't know if vape shops in Nova Scotia are going to survive another year or two past this point – it's a very scary time to own a vape shop.”
Flynn says the new regulations seem overreaching and will likely hurt customers who are turning to vapes instead of cigarettes.
“I would say probably 70 or 75 percent of my customers use it for smoking cessation,” says Flynn.
And he’s right, some people who use vaping products to curb their cigarette habits say they will likely return to smoking cigarettes if flavoured vape juices are banned.
“I'm probably going to go back to a pack and a half a day,” says Jay C, who uses vapes.
Customer, Craig Bennet, who purchases vape juice for his wife, says she prefers the grape and banana flavours. However, come April, she won't have access to either – which he notes he’s completely fine with.
“I’ve been pushing for her to quit,” says Bennet. “So, I'm completely fine if this sort of forces the issue.”
When the ban does come into effect, unflavoured juice, and tobacco flavour vape juice will be available. However, Flynn says he would much rather the province adopt regulations, similar to British Columbia, by regulating nicotine levels and raising taxes on vape juice.
“For me, it does a much more comprehensive job of addressing the different parts of youth uptake problem; while not crushing small businesses and essentially eliminating jobs of Nova Scotians – which I think really is the big problem here,” says Flynn.
Meanwhile, many who vape say they’re not sure of what they'll do once new regulations are in place, Some say they will try to quit, while others say they might stock up on their favourite flavours before they’re gone. As for Flynn, he says he's worried people might try to make their own vape juice, which can be unsafe.
In the meantime, vaping stores will continue to operate while they wait for more information to come from the province.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Emily Baron Cadloff