“What can I do?”
The Alberta government is reviewing the Alberta Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act with the intent to include vaping products. The government is looking to stakeholders to provide information to help guide the decision-making process. If you are a resident in Alberta, you are a stakeholder in this conversation.
Contact MLA Jeremy Nixon. He is the head of the review.
“What do I say?”
Introduce yourself: Include your name, provincial riding, postal code, and age.
Share your vaping story: How old were you when you started smoking? What age did you start vaping? Did you use vapour products to stop/reduce smoking? If you used vaping to reduce smoking, how much did it reduce your smoking? Are flavours important to you? How would you feel if flavours/vapour technology was no longer accessible? What do you think would happen to you personally if flavours/vapour technology were no longer accessible to you?
In your own words, just say what vaping is to you. Keep it simple, and don’t worry about including scientific data if you’re not comfortable doing so. The most important thing we can do is have our voices heard. Share our experiences and show the positive effect vaping has had on our lives.
If you decide to schedule a meeting with your MLA, be sure to come prepared and dress up in your Sunday best. Write down talking points beforehand so they are fresh in your memory. Share your experiences with vaping and how it has affected you. Leaving a positive impression on your MLA is very important.
Useful resources for advocacy:
Original Royal College of Physicians report on tobacco harm reduction
Nicotine without smoke: Tobacco harm reduction
The most commonly cited line of the report is in the conclusion to chapter 5 (page 87):
"Although it is not possible to precisely quantify the long-term health risks associated with e-cigarettes, the available data suggest that they are unlikely to exceed 5% of those associated with smoked tobacco products, and may well be substantially lower than this figure"
New England Journal of Medicine article comparing vaping to nicotine-replacement therapy
A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine -Replacement Therapy
VAEP World, a useful collection of advocacy resources and info-graphics
Dr. Farsalino's Scientific Blog
A six week study of smokers who switched to vaping and the positive effects it had on them
Effects of six weeks of electronic cigarette use on smoking rate, CO, cigarette dependence, and motivation to quit smoking: A pilot study
Use of vaping linked to smoking cessation in Greece:
E-cigarette use is strongly associated with recent smoking cessation: an analysis of a representative population sample in Greece
Reversal of COPD symptoms in smokers who switched to vaping:
Health effects in COPD smokers who switch to electronic cigarettes: a retrospective-prospective 3-year follow-up
Electronic Cigarette Use May Reverse the Harm Resulting From Tobacco Smoking in COPD Patients, Even in the Long Term
A 3.5 year long study that found no detectable changes in lung health of never smokers who regularly vaped
Health impact of E-cigarettes: a prospective 3.5-year study of regular daily users who have never smoked
Public Health England clearing up misinformation regarding vaping
Clearing up some myths around e-cigarettes
Snopes article on a sensationalist anti-vaping blog post
Is Vaping ‘Linked’ to Brain Damage, Narrow Arteries, and Lung Damage
Cancer Research UK stating vaping does not cause popcorn lung
Does vaping cause popcorn lung?
The benefits of a harm reduction strategy, such as vaping, to save lives
Harm Minimization and Tobacco Control: Reframing Societal Views of Nicotine Use to Rapidly Save Lives
CDC links black market THC cartridges to recent illnesses
Dank Vapes, TKO, and Other THC Vaping Brands Are Linked to Illnesses, C.D.C. Says