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Is Quebec Bill 44 unconstitutional, making online vape shops be illegal?

The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) is labeling the controversial Quebec Bill 44 unconstitutional, going to court in the hopes of having the anti-vaping laws revoked before the May 20 deadline. The bill has already been passed, and essentially took effect on November 26, 2015, but certain portions of the regulations are staggered to become active between May and early 2017. Most notably is a new law that prohibits retailers from selling vaping products and e-cigs online.

Furthermore, retailers will no longer be allowed to display advertisements of these products in any public forum. And it will also be illegal for vape shops to provide ways for potential customers to test vape mods, e-juices, and other related products. The combination of these new regulations essentially cripples the Quebec vaping industry from doing business altogether, effectively closing down several small businesses almost overnight.

Representatives for the Canadian Vaping Association believe that the Quebec Government is either intentionally or mistakenly jeopardizing the health of the Canadian people. Since millions of people depend on vaping devices as a stop smoking aid, the CVA fears that many of these former non-smokers will be tempted to relapse back to tobacco cigarettes. When this occurs, it will lead to an increase in health-related issues of catastrophic proportions, which could cost the government huge unforeseen expenses through the Canadian “free healthcare” system. As a result, the only way to make vaping legal again is to go to court and have a judge rule Bill 44 unconstitutional.

CVA President Beju Lakhani issued a statement just last week:

"By prohibiting the testing of e-cigarettes in specialty vape shops, banning display and promotion in store and online sales of any vape product, we believe the Government of Quebec should be taken to task over the constitutionality of Bill 44. He went on to say, “Our membership includes those who wish to vape rather than smoke tobacco and those who assist customers choose the most appropriate products that are right for them and, of course to help them understand how to use them properly. By introducing (Bill 44), the Government of Quebec, we believe has overstepped its legislative authority, which leaves us with no other choice than to bring this matter before the courts."

President Lakhani goes on to warn Quebec officials that keeping the current regulations in tact may even make matters worse. By taking away and entire industry’s ability to make a profit, the vaping industry may be forced to go underground, essentially becoming a Taboo, Black Market Industry that may threaten the health of its consumers even more. Lakhani believes that by confusing the two terms “tobacco” and “nicotine,” Québécois politicians are fundamentally siding with Big Tobacco. Since government cannot enact legislation based on false information, a judge categories Bill 44 unconstitutional.