In Quebec, the products of vaping are since 2015 considered as tobacco products, which limits greatly any promotional activity.
In the Face of the rise of the vaping among young people, Health Canada proposes to limit the advertising of e-cigarettes directed at young people and non-smokers.
The Act to amend the tobacco Act, which regulates the products of vaping, comes yet everything just come into force (of last may). The sale of products of vaping has been prohibited to Canadians under the age of 18 years and any promotion in order to make these products attractive to young people or to promote a life-style has been banned.
But, barely eight months after its entry into force, Health Canada would already strengthen the regulation. In a notice of intent published on Tuesday, the ministry says it is “very concerned” by the arrival of products to vaping with high nicotine content and by a “marked increase” in the vaping among young people.
In order to better “protect” young people and non-smoking rooms, Ottawa provides several new regulatory measures, including the display of a warning on the advertisements, and a ban on advertising at points of sale (also online) accessible to young people and in public places frequented by youth.
The ministry also suggests banning advertisements in written publications or on-line intended for young people and during programming designed for children or adolescents, 30 minutes before and after. Health Canada will collect the comments of Canadians on these measures until 22 march.
The regulations in force in Quebec is already much more strict. Since 2015, the products of vaping are considered tobacco products in the province, which limits greatly any promotional activity. The Law on the fight against smoking is, however, challenged before the courts by associations representing the industry of vaping.
To justify these new restrictive measures, Health Canada cites alarming data.
The canadian Survey on tobacco, alcohol and drug use among students conducted in 2016-2017, reveals that 15% of the students of 4th and 5th secondary had used a product of vaping over the course of thirty days. This proportion was 9% in 2014-2015 ; an increase of 64 % was thus observed in two years.
Health Canada also reports the findings of a study of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in the United States, which demonstrates that using an electronic cigarette creates dependency and increases the risk for young people to branch off later to the traditional cigarette.
“We can’t leave these products undermine the gains that we have hard-won in the fight against tobacco,” noted the minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor in a press release, announcing in the same breath as the deployment of a public awareness campaign to discourage teens from vaping.
The announcement of Ottawa has been welcomed by a number of canadian organizations for tobacco control. They worry, however, the delays occasioned by the regulatory approach favoured by Ottawa, which could stretch over two years. “We face a crisis, alarm Flory Doucas, spokesperson for the quebec Coalition for tobacco control. How can Health Canada justify the additional time to implement these new measures ? “
According to Ms. Doucas, advertisements of products of vaping circulating on social networks, on television and on billboards.
“The Parliament is the source of this problem, it is the government that has opened the doors to marketing with a legislation that is too permissive, so it is up to mps to change quickly. “