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

 canadianthing

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.

Ontario Government to restrict e-cigarette sales

In a surprising fast action by the Ontario government, they are planning on implementing a bill to restrict the use of electronic cigarettes and treat them similarly to tobacco cigarettes.

This law which was introduced today (Monday, November 24th) will ban anyone under the age of 19 from purchasing electronic cigarettes in Ontario.  It will also ban e-cigarette from being used in any area where tobacco cigarettes are already prohibited.

The new addition to the ‘smoke free Ontario’ legislation is trying to add

  • The removal of all flavoured tobacco cigarettes, cigars, etc.
  • The removal of all menthol tobacco products
  • Beefing up enforcement — Increasing fines and penalties to the highest of any province in Canada
  • New legislation of e-cigarettes “We know they appeal to young people because they are cheaper and easily available”
  • “Treat e-cigarettes the same way we treat tobacco cigarettes”
  • Prohibit the sales of e-cigarettes  to anyone under the age of 19
  • Prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in places where the use of cigarettes is prohibited.
  • Ban the sale of e-cigarettes in places where the sale of tobacco is prohibited
  • Prohibit the promotion of e-cigarettes in places where tobacco cigarettes are sold.

This is a pretty significant deal for all e-cigarette users.  Please read through all of the amendments specifically regarding e-cigarettes.

Ban the sale of e-cigarettes in places where the sale of tobacco is prohibited

This literally means that only variety stores, gas stations, and places who can legally sell tobacco cigarettes would be able to sell e-cigarettes.  No more small business retail stores anywhere.  No more ordering online anywhere.  No more competition on pricing, creation of unique and custom flavours, etc.  In the same way that the government regulates (and taxes) tobacco cigarettes, expect identical taxing and regulation of e-cigarettes sold in these establishments.

No mention of ‘Nicotine’ vs. “No Nicotine” e-cigarettes

This bill is effectively attacking the actual electronic device called the e-cigarette.  Even marijuana smokers know that the accessories used — Bongs, pipes, etc. are not subject to government scrutiny, yet they are blanketing and lumping all e-cigarettes into the same policy, effectively banning and restricting them all.

Removal of all flavoured e-liquid

By lumping e-cigarettes together with cigarettes, they are now able to effectively ban all flavourd e-liquid.  No more RY4, menthol, cinnamon, apple, peach, etc. e-liquid.  You will be limited to tobacco flavours only.  This is s significant impact on vapers across Ontario, as the majority of ex-smokers who are current vapors prefer non-tobacco flavours.

Severely limiting the paces one can Vape (use an e-cigarette)

By placing e-cigarette together with tobacco cigarettes in the smoke free Ontario act, you will now not be able to vape anywhere where you cannot use a tobacco cigarette.  This includes:

  • Child Care facilities
  • Mother Vehicles driven with anyone under 16
  • Enclosed workplaces — At all times even when not open for business
  • Smoking Shelters — No more then 2 walls and a roof
  • Areas where health care workers are present
  • Hopsitals
  • Common areas of hotels, motels, and inns
  • Multi-unit residences

We know they appeal to young people because they are cheaper and easily available

In my opinion, this is just setting the ‘defense’ statement for the Ontario government, in a shroud to attempt to justify their actions.  The protection of children, who could argue with this?  In their statements, they make absolutely no notice on the benefits e-cigarettes have had, and currently have on current smokers unable to quit, offering an alternative to smoking.  They make no mention of the potential to save MILLIONS OF LIVES as stated by the World Health Organization.  “These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century — perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives. The urge to control and suppress them as tobacco products should be resisted,” the experts wrote.”  This is the real reason for e-cigarette development and use.  No one wants non smokers to use e-cigarettes.  No one wants children to use e-cigarettes.  Any regulation specifically toward this would be appreciated by the community, but most of their policy changes go away from ‘protecting children’ towards ‘destroying the rights of Ontario’s vapers’.

Should you like to support the cause of protesting Bill 45, please visit your local Vape shop to sign a petition that will be presented at the next reading of the bill.

 

 

 

 

Toronto board of health to review a ban on electronic cigarettes

Toronto Board of Health meeting to discuss banning electronic cigarettes

The Toronto board of heath is meeting on Monday to discuss a possible municipal ban on electronic cigarettes, categorizing them the same way as traditional cigarettes.  This would mean that there would be no vaping or use of electronic cigarettes in public parks, in any bars or restaurants, or anywhere that traditional tobacco cigarettes are banned across the greater Toronto area.

 

Furthermore, the Toronto board of health will review a suggestion to prohibit the sale of flavoured e-cigarette products and ban e-cigarette displays in stores.

The Toronto board of health also wants to look at banning the use of electronic cigarettes in the workplace, as well as at the Toronto School boards, universities, and colleges, and Toronto hospitals, encouraging them to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes both indoor and outdoor on their properties.  They will also be contacting the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel association, and Toronto Association of business improvement areas suggesting they implement similar practices.  Finally, they will be suggesting this to the Parks and Environment committee.

The reason or justification for these potential actions are twofold.

First, they are suggesting that there is not enough stuhttp://canadavapes.com/info/blog/toronto-board-health-review-ban-electronic-cigarettes/dies on the risk of second hand vapor.  They are citing possible health risks associated with second hand vapor.

Secondly, they are stating that there could be an acceptance of this as a gateway to tobacco cigarettes, and a ‘normalization of smoking’ again, after many years of struggling to make tobacco cigarettes obsolete.

I believe they are missing the big picture, which is the overwhelming positive results already taking place by ex-tobacco smokers who have successfully transitioned to electronic cigarettes, and are experiencing success beyond their wildest dreams.  They have never suggested that mint flavoured Nicolette gum could potentially be a gateway to tobacco cigarettes, and in my opinion, electronic cigarettes are very different from tobacco cigarettes.  This is why so many ex-smokers who turn to electronic cigarettes will, almost without exception, state that when they go back and have a tobacco cigarette, it tastes and feels nothing like an electronic cigarette, and they no longer like the taste and feel of the tobacco cigarette.

Furthermore, I find it interesting that they are implying that scientific evidence states that e-cigs could be a gateway to tobacco cigarettes, of which there is no evidence to support this, and in the same breath using a lack of “Scientific evidence” regarding second hand vapor as a reason to ban e-cigs.  This is governmental heresy its finest.

For my last rant, I would state that it would be a much better use of time for our government to work on regulating the manufacturing of these products, instead of creating a ban based on zero scientific evidence.  Requiring labels, child proof lids, warnings, and information to be used by all vendors of e-cigarettes would be a much better potential governmental ruling vs. pulling them off shelves and banning them publicly.

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.