While the vaping community of the United States is facing a possible flavor ban by the FDA, Canada has already taken decisive action. The passage of a new piece of legislation last week now bans the sales of several flavors pf e-liquids, some individual ingredients and additives, and certain marketing and advertising practices. Bill S-5 attempts to amend two previously approved laws, the Tobacco Act of 1997 and the Non-smokers’ Health Act of 1988.
Many of the new regulations adversely affect Big Tobacco sales in The Great White North. For example, cigarette manufacturers must now utilizing specific plain packaging protocols. The use of company or branding logos is also strictly prohibited. The strategy behind the new legislation is to reduce the appeal of tobacco products to teens and young adults.
‘Confectionary’ flavors of e-liquids are a primary target
Much like here in the United States, Canadian vapers are being met with a surge of mainstream media reports claiming that vaping is a gateway to teen smoking, even though there is significant evidence that this is not the case. Below is a short overview of the new regulations directly affecting the sales and marketing of e-liquids and vaporizers in Canada.
- Lifestyle advertising campaigns will no longer be tolerated. Bill S-5 defines “lifestyle” advertising as any marketing strategies “that could be construed on reasonable grounds to be appealing to young persons.”
- Sales to underage persons is forbidden, even in cases where the tobacco or vaping product is purchased by an adult and gifted to a minor child.
- Health Canada is given the legal authority to oversee the implementation and management of the new resolutions. As times goes on, certain clarifications, revisions, or additions to the new regulation may incur.
- Bill S-5 bans the sales and marketing of dessert and confectionary vapes, cannabis flavors, and brands based on energy or soft drink beverages.
- Certain ingredients and additives are also prohibited, including vitamins, minerals, caffeine, amino acids, fatty acids, probiotics, glucuronolactone and taurine.
- Coloring agents are out, too. All e-liquids sold and marketed must now be colorless.
Even thought Bill S-5 increases the number of federal regulatory requirements on the vaping industry, several politicians are attempting to promote them as a positive for both public health and the Canadian vapers. In an interview given to CBC News, Canada, Senate Representative Peter Harder made the following statement.
"Bill S-5 will also provide adults the legal access to better-regulated vaping products. These products can serve as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes and can be a much-needed option for those who have been unable to quit smoking.”
To be clear, the Canadian government’s official stance still seems to be very pro-vaping compared to that of the United States. Canadian public health officials are not afraid to make claims that vaping is a highly effective and significantly safe way to quit smoking. Conversely, the FDA in the United States has yet to make such a formal decree. To date, the FDA is only willing to state publicly that vaping is a useful tool for “tobacco harm reduction.”