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Anti-tobacco advocates call on Quebec government to appeal vaping ruling

Last Updated May 4, 2019 at 11:31 am PDT

FILE - In this April 11, 2018, file photo, a high school student uses a vaping device near a school campus in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

MONTREAL — An anti-tobacco group is urging the Quebec government to appeal a court ruling that invalidated certain sections of the province’s tobacco legislation pertaining to vaping.

The ruling handed down by Quebec Superior Court on Friday confirmed the province’s right to legislate on vaping, but struck down provisions banning demonstrations of vaping products inside shops or specialized clinics and prohibiting the advertising of vaping products to smokers seeking to kick their habit.

The challenge to Quebec’s Tobacco Control Act, adopted in 2015, was brought by the Canadian Vaping Association and L’Association quebecoise des vapoteries, who argued the law infringed on its members’ rights, particularly freedom of expression.

Justice Daniel Dumais has suspended his ruling for six months to allow lawmakers to rewrite the problematic sections of the province’s tobacco law to make them valid.

But Flory Doucas of the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control says the judgment doesn’t take into account the rise in vaping among youth that’s occurred since e-cigarettes were legalized by the federal government in May 2018.

Health Canada has said it’s concerned by the trend, and in April federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor launched consultations on potential new regulatory measures aimed at reducing the uptick of vaping among youth.

The Canadian Press