- On Thursday, a judge in New Brunswick turned down a request to lift the province’s ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
- Meanwhile, Rob Cunningham, a Canadian Cancer Society observer at the hearing, praised the decision.
- Flavored e-cigarettes are illegal in a number of places, including Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and the Northwest Territories.
A judge in New Brunswick denied a motion to lift the province’s ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes on Thursday, ruling that the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate irreparable harm.
Last September, the province banned all e-cigarette flavors except tobacco. Still, the plaintiffs — a vape shop and five individuals — wanted sales to resume while the legislation was challenged in court. They also wanted the requirement for specialty vape shops to obtain a license to be lifted. This requirement is set to take effect on April 1st.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Mel Norton, argued that the law hurt vape shops in New Brunswick. Without flavored e-cigarette options, people trying to quit smoking would revert to tobacco, which is a greater health risk.
According to Judge Terrance Morrison of the Court of Queen’s Bench, the government’s intent with the legislation was to protect residents’ health, particularly young people.
“When one weighs the applicants’ economic interests against the public interest, the scales tip dramatically in the public interest’s favor,” Morrison told the court. “The balance of convenience, in my opinion, strongly favors denying the injunction.”
The motion was denied, and the plaintiffs were ordered to pay the province $2,500 in court costs.
Outside the courtroom, Norton expressed disappointment with the decision on behalf of his clients.
“This was brought because they have identified a serious issue preventing them from quitting smoking and staying away from cigarettes,” Norton explained. “There are also the economic consequences for the businesses and the people who work in them.”
Meanwhile, Rob Cunningham, an observer at the hearing for the Canadian Cancer Society, applauded the decision.
“To protect youth and control youth becoming addicted because of preferred vaping products is an extremely important judgment for public health,” he said.
Flavored e-cigarettes are prohibited in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and the Northwest Territories, among other places. The Nova Scotia Supreme Court dismissed a motion to suspend the province’s legislation last year.
Lawyers on both sides of the issue, according to Norton, are now preparing to challenge the province’s ban on flavored e-cigarettes in court.
While no dates have been set, Norton believes the case should be heard as soon as possible because the legislation has resulted in a significant drop in sales and the closure of one vape shop in the province, as well as the bankruptcy of the owner of another.
Source: Global News
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