Do we know enough about the downstream effects of vaping?

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, I have been sitting here thinking about this debate and recognizing that I owe cigarettes big thanks for my activism through life.

When my dear grandfather was taken from us with lung cancer from smoking cigarettes when I was five years old, I became so rampant in my objection to smoking that I stole cigarette packages out of my mother’s friends’ purses, blew out matches, and did all manner of things to stop people from smoking. I am grateful that the statistics quoted by our colleague show that Canadians are smoking less, and clearly not due to my activism.

I want to pursue what we might know about how Health Canada will pursue the problem of smaller amounts of nicotine delivered by a different system. We do need this legislation. We need to regulate, but do we know enough about the downstream risks of vaping? I wonder if he could comment on that, either on behalf of the Conservative Party or for himself as a member of Parliament.

Arnold Viersen – Member for Peace River-Westlock

Mr. Speaker, one of the things I found very interesting in my own research on vaping and its ability to get people to quit smoking is the fact that we really do not know at this point what the downstream effects of vaping are. Anecdotally, vaping seems to help people quit smoking. That is a big positive.

I will go back to the beginning of my speech, where I talked about the government’s involvement in people’s lives. I always ask, does the government really have anything to do here? I would put that forward as well. Some people come down on it and say that if we do not know what is going to happen, we should definitely regulate it. We know it helps people to reduce smoking. We do not know its long-term health effects. Given the fact that we have a public health care system, we seem to think that we should regulate it.

Let us pull back for a moment and see what comes in. If we can work hard to get people to quit smoking by the use of vaping, let us allow that to happen. Let us get out of the way until we know what the real results are.