Do you like vaping sweet or fruity e-juice flavours?
Do you like sampling new flavours at a vape shop?
Do you like seeing a product, touching it, or hearing about it before purchase?
In 2 weeks, you’ll be shit out of luck. Let me explain.
Mere months before you can legally blaze a giant blunt of OG Kush, the Ontario Liberal Government is desperately trying to push through Bill 174. Or for the hoity-toity types, the Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017.
But that’s a good thing, right?
We do want our government to be ready for the influx of new stoners.
The big problem with Bill 174 is the fact that it’s not just about cannabis. It’s what politicians refer to as an “omnibus” bill — a piece of legislation crammed full of completely unrelated matters.
Bill 174 is about cannabis. It’s also about installing security cameras on school buses. It’s also about new blood-alcohol limits for drivers of commercial vehicles. And strangely enough, it’s also about electronic cigarettes.
Basically, it’s about a whole bunch of things that have nothing to do with one another.
And here’s the bad part. Bill 174 proposes a whole slew of new restrictions on vaping, including banning:
- E-juice flavours
- Vaping in-doors (including inside vape shops)
- Product displays
- Mod demonstrations
- In-store troubleshooting and maintenance
- Tutorials, sharing of specs, etc.
- Most vape-related marketing
- And more
But wait. it gets even worse.
Because liberals are so desperate to push through new cannabis laws, all of the other parts of this bill will pass too. The Liberals are so desperate, in fact, that they introduced a motion for time allocation. This is a rarely used, incredibly immoral way for a majority government to ignore the standard debate period for new laws, pushing a new bill through with virtually zero opposition. They used it on the Minimum Wage Bill, and they're doing it again here.
As early as December 7th, all Ontario vape shops will be effectively neutered. All display cases will disappear. All testing stations will shut down. And if our luck continues, all your favourite e-juice flavours will go “poof.”
Let’s be blunt: most vape shops will go out of business.
But listen, I’m not writing this to vent. I’m not yelling at clouds, and the sky isn’t quite falling.
We’ve already made some great strides at combatting Bill 174. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the ongoing campaigns:
- An email campaign on www.vapingisntsmoking.ca that netted more than 10,000 emails to Ontario lawmakers
- Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals that encouraged vapers to send emails to their MPPs
- A successful Queen’s Park protest on Saturday, November 25th
- A vape shop blackout event (visit your favourite shop this week to see what that’s all about)
But as we draw closer to the Bill 174 vote, it becomes clearer and clearer just how much the Liberals want to destroy this industry.
We’ve seen hundreds of responses from lawmakers claiming that these laws are necessary to protect the children. Unbeknownst to them, virtually every study on the subject concludes that vaping is not a gateway to teen smoking. They ignore the science, and keep spouting the same party line.
We’re hearing promises of vape shop “exemptions.” Yet nothing in the proposed law leaves room for such exemptions. There’s no mention of exemptions ANYWHERE in the wording of the bill.
And throughout this all, not one Liberal MPP has expressed concerns about the way this law is structured.
Not one Liberal MPP agreed that this Bill needs to be split up into logical, separate legislations.
Not one Liberal MPP stood up for vapers.
And ultimately, these are the people that are going to decide the fate of vaping in Ontario. So while we’ve done quite well in combatting this—we’re running out of time.
And we need your help.
1. Keep sending emails to your lawmakers
If you haven’t had the chance to send an email to your Ontario lawmakers, it’s imperative that you do this now.
The easiest way to do this is to visit www.vapingisntsmoking.ca and submit a pre-written email. However, we encourage you to take 10 minutes to write an email with your own story.
It’s pretty easy for an MPP to ignore a thousand copies of the same email. It’s a lot harder to ignore heart-felt stories from their constituents.
You can get all of the relevant email addresses from the website above (including the email of your local MPP, once you input your postal code).
2. Take the “I Vape, I Vote” pledge
At the end of the day, there’s only one thing you have that politicians care about.
And since the Liberals won by such a small margin in the last election, they really care about your vote. Some of them won by only a few hundred votes! So this is the perfect opportunity to hit them where it hurts.
Visit www.ivapeivote.ca and fill out a quick form to take the pledge.
This will send a targeted email to your MPP stating that you will only vote for them in the upcoming elections if they oppose Schedule 3 (the vaping restrictions) of Bill 174.
3. Set a meeting with your MPP
I know you’re busy.
I know there’s plenty of things you’d rather be doing than meeting with a politician. So I won’t hold it against you if you don’t.
But if you really care about vaping, if vaping helped you quit cigarettes, if you truly believe it can help others do the same, and you care deeply about the lives of smokers in our country, I urge you to share that enthusiasm with your local representative.
You can find your MPPs phone number by inputting your postal code under the “Vote 2018” tab of www.vapingisntsmoking.ca.
Simply call the listed phone number and ask to meet with your MPP.
Share your story and passion for vaping. Ask them to vote against Bill 174.
4. Share this article
With how bad Bill 174 is for our industry, it still boggles my mind that most of our customers know nothing about it. There shouldn’t be single vaper left in Ontario who hasn’t heard of Bill 174.
There’s more than 900,000 of us in Canada. Can you imagine the sort of impact we could have if we had unified our voices?
And it all starts with awareness.
So if even if you don’t have the time to contribute in other ways, please share this article on Facebook and Twitter, email it to your vaping friends, or even text them a link.
All Canadian vapers should be aware of what’s happening in Ontario. Their livelihoods depend on it.