This article is my understanding of VITA, how it was formed and how it protects the Vaping Industry. I would encourage everyone reading this to bookmark www.vitaofcanada.com and follow this organization. After seeing article after article posted in the news and social media of “Vaping Illness”, “Death from Vaping”, “People Dying from Vaping” or “Lung Disease from Vaping” with no facts to back up the claims, I wanted to put the spotlight on a group that can hopefully alleviate the concerns the population is having and educate them where these problems are really stemming from. Especially when statements are made a week later from the FDA or CDC stating each incident was in fact caused by black-market THC Cartridges or other Cannabis related products.
What Is VITA?
Last week, an organization was formed to assist Health Canada in creating/adjusting regulations to the e-cigarette market. In short, the Vaping Industry Trade Associate (VITA) is a board of 6 founders and 6 elected members from across the country that will discuss and vote on different proposals to provide to Health Canada to ensure that the vaping industry remains reasonably regulated in a way that is fair and beneficial to consumers across the country.
VITA intends to present information that is only factual and logical to assist Retailers, Distributors, Manufacturers and Importers in maintaining an industry that is currently in disarray due to the spread of misinformed media about harmful substances and their origins.
Who Are The Founders?
The founders consist of members from both the vaping world as well as the tobacco world (DVine Laboratories, Logic Vapes, Juul, La Vape Shop, Valor and Vype). For some consumers, this idea of big players from the vaping industry working with large tobacco companies is fearsome. Members of VITA have agreed that they would sign affidavits stating that they hold no shares or ownership in the other founders’ businesses. In fact, a clause was built into state that if one company bought out another, that company would lose all of their seats. Being unbiased is of the utmost importance for this group to remain effective.
Who Are The Elected Members?
Currently this has not been released. As a temporary measure, members from across the country were vetted and voted on by the Founders, with at least 5 of the 6 potentials being from the vape industry only. After a period of six months has passed, those 6 seats will open up to other people to run and be voted on at which point they would serve a 2 year term.
This is extremely important in terms of alleviating concerns that a lot of the public has about VITA. The 6 voted members hold a total of the majority votes with 60% of the voting power. Of the founding members, the Tobacco Votes will never exceed 20% of the overall voting power, leaving the remaining 20% to the founders from the Vaping Industry.
With a weighted structure like this, no single group (be it a tobacco company or vaping company) has enough power single handedly sway a vote in their favour. In fact, the founders themselves could be outvoted by the 6 elected members. This balance ensures that the vaping industry has the voice it needs for longevity.
What Does VITA Intend To Do?
VITA wants what all parents of underage vapers want; the ability to help prohibit the sale of vape product to minors and non-smokers/vapers. The risk of youth appeal and the teen vaping epidemic needs to be addressed in a way that allows millions of vapers who are no longer smoking cigarettes to benefit from vaping as it is. Discussions about sending in mystery shoppers to help educate retailers to remember to properly check identification is also part of the plan.
They also intend to address the discussion about the banning of flavours or higher nicotine strengths; which has been helpful to millions of people who were once smokers and now vape as an alternative.
By getting the education to 37 million Canadians with facts and logic, we will hopefully see the media stop using deceptive advertising that is harming this industry.
How Do They Attempt To Accomplish All This?
To date, Health Canada has been approached from several different sectors of this market with suggestions on what we should/shouldn’t do in this country. Everyone has a different idea and this doesn’t make it easy for Health Canada to want to work with anyone from the vaping/tobacco industry. By coming together and setting differences aside, VITA will be able to offer a refined and more viable solution to these problems and approach Health Canada as a whole.
Personally, I’m usually quite leery of organizations like this. After having several conversations on the phone with some of their members, the questions that I felt should really stump them were answered swiftly and efficiently. I’m cautiously optimistic though and I really look forward to seeing what they can accomplish for the industry.
True North Vapor