Canada to Regulate E-Cigarettes; Recommendations from the Standing Committee on Health

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This March the Standing Committee of Health produced a report outlining recommendations for the regulation of E-cigarettes based off of evidence collected from eight meetings with a total of thirty-three witnesses, including government officials, health officials, manufacturers, and users of the devices.  Overall  it looks hopeful, and potentially  good news for vapers in Canada.  You can read the full report here.

 

The Good:

  • Recommendation 1:  That the Government of Canada financially supports research on the health effects of E-cigs (potential risks and benefits), and their impact on the uptake of nicotine products by youth and on other tobacco control efforts (renormalization and potential gateway effects).  We feel that this is good because currently the claims against e-cigarettes are not supported by evidence, and conducting research is more likely to dispel disparaging attitudes than create new ones.
  • Recommendation 2:  That the Government of Canada works with all affected stakeholders to establish a new legislative framework for regulating electronic cigarettes.  This is awesome because it means that they will not be regulated as tobacco, or medical products (won’t be required to have a prescription to obtain a vape etc).
  • Recommendation 7:  Establish standards relating to the safety of all components of electronic cigarettes, and also require manufacturers and importers of electronic cigarettes to disclose information relating to ingredients.   We feel  that it’s important for consumers to have full disclosure.
  • Recommendation 8:  Require electronic cigarette components be sold in child resistant packaging, and that all packaging clearly and accurately indicate the concentration of nicotine and contain appropriate safety warnings about the product.  This recommendation makes sense, and would certainly improve the safety of vaping.
  • Recommendation 9:  Prohibit electronic cigarette manufacturers from making unproven health claims.    We couldn’t agree with this more!
  • Recommendation 10:  Prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes or other electronic nicotine delivery systems to person under the age of 18.  Most retailers are already enforcing this rule, ourselves included.

The Bad:

  • Recommendation 5:  Electronic Cigarettes be required to be visually distinct from other tobacco products (ie not look like a cigarette, like our e-dart).   This recommendation is based off of the fear that vaping may re-normalize tobacco use, and as outlined in recommendation 1 there currently is not enough evidence to support the claim. 
  • Recommendation 6:  Establish maximum levels of nicotine contained in electronic cigarette liquid or vapour.   This could pose unnecessary limitations on consumers , as the amount of nicotine considered to be safe in e-liquid is well over the amount currently found in even the highest concentrations available.

The Ugly:

  • Recommendation 11:  Prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems in federally regulated public spaces.  This would prohibit vaping in bars, restaurants, and other places that may want to cater to vapers. 
  • Recommendation 12:  Restrictions for advertising and promotional activities for these products.  This recommendation greatly imposes on businesses and consumers ability to connect with appropriate harm reduction devices. 
  • Recommendation 14:  Prohibit the use of flavourings in electronic cigarette liquids that are specifically designed to appeal to youth, such as candy flavourings.  This recommendation comes from the baseless idea that youth, whom are mostly mimicking adult behaviors when they engage in smoking may be drawn to vaping because of candy flavours.  A large amount of vapers prefer sweet and fruity flavours, and this would pose unnecessary restrictions on them.

Overall the recommendations to regulate e-cigarettes are very reasonable, other than the few that lack supporting evidence to warrant their creation (in their current forms).  While some of the recommendations are not favourable  we feel positive that if The Canadian Government continues to work with all stakeholders and pays close attention to research coming forward in support of vaping we will have a world class regulatory system.

Electronic cigarette advertsments – Will they be banned?

A recent US rule implemented by the FDA is attempting to regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.  While this is certainly a good thing, and a positive step in the US electronic cigarette market, it is leaving many people wondering if this is just the first step in an electronic cigarette laundry list of to be regulated by the FDA.  FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the current proposal “lays the foundation for many more actions and activities.”  What this means is that this rule is essentially the groundwork for future policies and regulations laid out by the FDA in the future in restrictions towards electronic cigarettes.

 

My personal belief is that the FDA is choosing a ban on minors as their ‘entry rule’ so that everyone will be behind them, and then continue to add and implement other ‘grey area’ rulings regarding electronic cigarettes.  The two two that everyone is talking about is advertising of electronic cigarettes, and the sale of fruity or candy e-liquids to customers.  We are going to discuss advertising of electronic cigarettes in this story.

Some are suggesting some US e-cigarette companies are promoting electronic cigarettes to a younger crowd.

 

 

A recent advertisement from blu e-cigarettes in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit magazine in the states has suggested that some e-cigarette companies are focusing on the younger crowd when advertising their products.  Personally, this is more of a ‘sex sells’ type advertisement then anything else, however an argument could be made that if electronic cigarettes become more of an accepted social practice they would be tried and used a lot more then traditional tobacco cigarettes.  We at CanadaVapes.com have always promoted electronic cigarettes as an alternate to people currently smoking tobacco cigarettes, and never as a device for current non-smokers.