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The CN Tower's Latest Campaign

Posted on 18 May 2021

The CN Tower’s false Campaign

On May 3rd 2021 the CN tower announced on it’s official twitter page that it would be lit that evening with yellow and black lights in support of Anti-Vaping Awareness day. Anti-Vaping Awareness is a campaign by the government of Canada intended to educate parents and children about the risks associated with vaping and reduce the prevalence of youth vape usage. 

Toronto Vapers are up in arms

This anti-vaping message left many twitter users confused about the intention of the campaign. Since the tweet was published there have been more than 230 replies, the majority of which are strongly opposed to the implied message that vaping is always a bad decision. Twitter user tamsamuel007 (@Samuel Tam) Tweeted: “This campaign spreads misinformation about vaping. My dad quit smoking using vaping products. A smoker for over 40 years. I’m proud of him and how effective vaping has been for him.” a sentiment which has been echoed by others like binyamintoo (@Binyamin) who said “I understand where you’re coming from but vaping let me quit a decade long half pack a day habit, quite possibly saving my life.”

So far the CN tower has only responded to the criticism by sharing a link to the Anti-Vaping campaign, which further frustrated twitter, users who said the CN tower should have more clearly communicated who their intended audience is, and that not doing so may misinform adult smokers who could benefit from harm reduction tools like E-cigarettes. Twitter users were quick to correct this misstep by the CN tower, tweeting links to news articles like this one and other statements from healthcare professionals that outline the potential benefits of vaping as harm reduction.   

Why Vaping is cleaner than Cigarettes

While it’s true that vaping hasn’t been around long enough for there to be any conclusive research about it’s long term health effects, most healthcare professionals agree that vaping is significantly less harmful than continuing to use combustible cigarettes. This article from the European Heart Journal sums up the majority expert opinion on vaping as harm reduction. Unlike combustible cigarettes, vape devices heat e-liquid into a vapor to be inhaled, eliminating the need for combustion, which is the chemical reaction behind many of the dangers associated with smoking. Adults who vape for harm reduction should still pay attention to what is in vape juice and how it compares to cigarettes. For a more comprehensive evaluation of what’s in your vape juice and  how it compares to cigarettes, please take a look at this study published in Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety

There is also strong evidence to suggest that having access to a variety of vape juice flavours may be a key component to helping adult vape users fully transition away from cigarettes. Implementing restrictions on vape juice flavours and stlth pod flavours would likely encourage adult vape users to revert back to cigarettes, counteracting much of the harm reduction progress that has already been made, and putting the health of Canadians at risk. 

The controversy that played out on twitter earlier this week is an excellent reminder of the way good intentions can cause harm if we aren’t careful with our words. Teens should not use nicotine, and we should be making every effort to educate youth and their families about the potential risks of youth vaping, while encouraging adult smokers to make the best decisions for their own health.   

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