Monday was Anti-Vaping Awareness Day (AVD) in Canada.
The CN Tower was lit up in yellow and black to mark the occasion. The tower has lit up with different colours to mark occasions such as Firefighters Day or Huntington’s Disease Awareness Day.
However, the Canadian anti-vaping stunt has attracted backlash from vapers, brands and advocates on Twitter.
The majority of Twitter user comments highlighted that vaping is a valuable tool in tobacco harm reduction.
The Canadian Vaping Association wrote under the tweet that campaigns like these confuse the public.
“45,000 Canadians die each year from smoking. Vaping is widely recognized as less harmful than smoking. Campaigns like these confuse smokers and discourage harm reduction. “Canadian Vaping Association
The International Network of Nicotine (INNCO) responded by calling the tweet, ‘grossly irresponsible’.
The tweet also referenced Public Health England’s stance on e-cigarettes.
The CT Tower Twitter account has since posted links to more information under some of the tweets.
How did this start?
The Canadian AVD appears to have been started by a high school student with the backing of Health Canada.
As part of the campaign, students were asked to wear yellow and black – the anti-vaping colours chosen by Health Canada.
There were also anti-vaping packs distributed to 20 schools across the country.
The campaign has reached estimated 30,000 students – and many adult smokers too, no doubt.
Canada has a complex relationship with vaping. The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA) was introduced in 2018 to encourage smokers to switch to vaping while preventing youth access.
However, America’s so-called ‘youth vaping epidemic’ spilled across the border in the years since, leading provinces to ban flavours and restrict nicotine content in e-liquids.