As unfortunate as it sounds, Health Canada has not provided much in the way of information regarding e-cigarettes and their use by Canadians. Health Canada has done absolutely no testing or research on the subject. They have advised Canadians not to use electronic cigarettes because they “may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy by Health Canada”. The unfortunate part is this: Health Canada is leaving it up to the manufacturers of the e-cigarettes to prove to Health Canada that they are safe. According the Health Canada’s notice to the sellers of e-cigarettes: “Market authorization is granted by Health Canada following successful review of scientific evidence demonstrating safety, quality and efficacy with respect to the intended purpose of the health product. This evidence is provided by the sponsor seeking market authorization. To date, no electronic smoking product has been authorized for sale by Health Canada.”
In a nutshell, Health Canada states they have not evaluated the safety of electronic cigarettes, but will not test electronic cigarettes themselves, because they believe them to fall within the scope of the food and drugs act. It is therefore the responsibility of the manufacturers. It is virtually impossible for the electronic cigarette manufacturers to ever come up with the resources, or capital to do the testing and research that a foreign government requires.
The truth is that all of the businesses I have ever worked with to purchase electronic cigarettes and e-liquid have abided by their own very strict government stipulated regulations to produce and distribute e-cigarettes. These regulations include: UCS Quality Management systems, GMP Good manufacturing practice, Medical devices Quality management systems approval, CMDCAS ISO approval, KFDA certificate, and TUV-LFGB approval.
Here is the report given by Health Canada. It is directed to individuals using or thinking of using the electronic cigarette. Remember, it is your right to make an informed and well researched decision regarding e-smoking. I want you as the consumer to have all the facts, both positive and negative.
March 27, 2009 – For immediate release
OTTAWA – Health Canada is advising Canadians not to purchase or use electronic smoking products, as these products may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy by Health Canada.
These products come as electronic cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos and pipes, as well as cartridges of nicotine solutions and related products. These products fall within the scope of the Food and Drugs Act, and under the Act, require market authorization before they can be imported, advertised or sold. The sale of these health products is currently not compliant with the Food and Drugs Act since no electronic smoking products have been granted a market authorization in Canada.
In recent months, a number of electronic cigarettes, cigars and pipes as well as cartridges of nicotine solutions and related products have been marketed in Canada, and through the Internet. Most of these products are shaped and look like their conventional counterparts. They produce a vapor that resembles smoke and a glow that resembles the tip of a cigarette. They consist of a battery-powered delivery system that vaporizes and delivers a liquid chemical mixture that may be composed of various amounts of nicotine, propylene glycol, and other chemicals.
Nicotine is a highly addictive and toxic substance, and the inhalation of propylene glycol is a known irritant. Although these electronic smoking products may be marketed as a safer alternative to conventional tobacco products and, in some cases, as an aid to quitting smoking, electronic smoking products may pose risks such as nicotine poisoning and addiction. Please visit the Health Canada website for further information about nicotine and addiction.
While no electronic smoking product has yet been authorized for sale in Canada, Health Canada has authorized the sale of a number of smoking cessation aids, including nicotine gum, nicotine patches, nicotine inhaler, and nicotine lozenges.
Electronic smoking products, including their nicotine cartridges, must be kept out of the reach of children at all times, given the risk of choking or nicotine poisoning. Nicotine is hazardous to the health and safety of certain segments of the population such as children, youth, pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with heart conditions, and the elderly.
Persons importing, advertising or selling electronic cigarette products in Canada must stop doing so immediately. Health Canada is providing information to interested stakeholders on how to apply for the appropriate market authorizations and establishment licences.
Canadians who have used e-cigarette products and are concerned about their health should consult with a health care practitioner.
I suggest you now watch the following video from former US congressman Matt Salmon. It is directed to the FDA regarding e-cigarettes, but it very much applies to Health Canada as well.