June 06, 2018

Canada’s Vape and Tobacco Regulation Update 2018

June 6th, 2018. Steven Bustrin, H2 Digital Marketing


Over the last several years, consumers in the vape industry have been thrown around for a loop to what is appropriate and necessary as far as regulations in FDA, TPD, and CDN. The vape industry, rapidly growing every year, has brought attention to Government officials to regulate. We see both positive and negative things happening in the community for both consumers and retailers or manufacturers. Today we are focusing on Canada’s tobacco and vaping regulations along with briefly covering Non-smokers’ Health Act which may affect things to come for our industry.


As of May 2018 the Government of Canada’s new vision addressing tobacco use includes updating Canada’s approach to tobacco control, including a new approach to vaping products, implementing plain and standardizing packaging requirements for products they contain. Through evidence on the potential benefits and risks of vaping products still emerging, Health Canada is of the view that while vaping products can be harmful, they are less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Smokers that switch to vaping products will greatly reduce their exposure to toxic chemicals and carcinogens.


There is also clear evidence that nicotine is highly addictive, having effects on adolescence cognitive function and development. Vaping products that have nicotine can lead to addiction, the subsequent use of tobacco, and re-normalization of smoking behaviors.


The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act provides a balance framework for vaping products by protecting youth and non-users of tobacco products from nicotine addiction and inducements to use tobacco, while allowing adults to legally have access to the products of their choice such as vaping products, a less harmful alternative to tobacco.


On the passage of Bill S-5, vaping products that contain nicotine must have a warning label, making it clear its purpose and use. The legislation also prohibits the promotion of vaping products that are appealing to the youth, such as candy-like flavors. Products will be allowed to adults, over 18 years old, to be purchased in retail stores. The Act introduces restrictions to ensure that Canadians are not misled on the health hazards associated with vaping product use. Manufacturers are not permitted to advertise their products as a health benefit or in comparison to tobacco products and cannot say anything about products helping quitting smoking.


The Act also prevents manufacturers to release new products without consent under Canada’s FDA and its regulations. Products being produced must have clear and scientific evidence to demonstrate the applicable requirements for safety, efficacy, and quality. Through the Bill S-5, the Non-smokers’ Health Act has also been amended to protect Canadians from second-hand vapor. This means that, like smoking, vaping is prohibited in federally regulated workspaces and certain areas of transportation.


Problems


Up until this point, Canadian vaping regulations have been unclear, allowing manufacturers to make their own rules, thus not falling under soon-to-be updated regulations. Vaping has been such a taboo that no one really knows the stability as a whole because of the non-clarity of regulation and in doing so there are many companies out there that might be in serious trouble. Also we haven’t really determined the long-term effects of vaping and having that into consideration very well may be the reason of hesitancy with regs. The issue isn’t that regulations aren’t being put into place it is now that we have Government regulations being implemented some things are going to be eliminated, such as flavors, hardware devices and companies as a whole.


Whether or not you are a supporter of vaping or tobacco the quick assumption is to think that Feds are looking to tap into the multi-billion dollar industry and make money. That’s not the case here. We have to take the approach as a human being thinking with common sense, what would be the safest strategy to allow freedom towards vapers and smokers along with the protection of non-smokers, specifically those in a working environment being exposed to secondhand smoke and secondhand vape along with youth and families with children being exposed.


Normally when Federal regulations or Government officials enter into the picture there was already issues drawing attention to the industry. We see the average age of smokers becoming younger and younger, along with products being sold that are an actual health issue. Not to mention the hardware in which that vaping is distributed to the body can have harmful carcinogens making the industry have a negative connotation.


We still don’t know where things will lead us as a whole not only in the Canadian realm but in the world. If the industry is being regulated this early it only means that there are many companies and manufacturers looking to make a quick buck and not abiding by the rules. Obviously rules are created to provide benefit, sometimes control, but this could mean a lot of jobs being lost and lives being changed. Sad story.


Benefits


The future of the industry will continue to grow along with innovative products to help the average smoker have a healthier alternative. Products will now be regulated, including hardware, to instill a safe environment for both smokers, vapers and non-smokers and youth. See, the solution of what’s happening is not lowering the standards of the industry but rather to raise the standards of the manufacturers and creators of products being made so that consumers have trust between their decision making and manufacturer’s delivery of products. This will get rid of the companies and manufacturers that are hurting the industry as well... A lot of consumers will take a look at some of these regulations as control or negative, but fight to see the bigger perspective that regulations are set to allow freedom towards manufacturers by proving their safety towards consumers and providing evidence in doing so. The future can look bright for many, depending on what your position is on Government involvement or Federal regulation.


The Takeaway


The Vape industry is quickly growing and improving every year globally. More and more smokers are switching to vaping, and Canada’s Government and Food and Drug Acts are both protecting the consumer’s safety along with manufacturers standard of product delivery. The problem is that the industry is still new, Federal regulations are coming in late and are working extremely hard to hash out the gray areas of the industry while many manufacturers are so deep into the game already that it might affect their whole business plan with these updates. Companies will be more transparent with their product packaging, displaying warning labels, giving both freedom and safety to the smoker and vaper. Age restrictions will be implemented to increase product standard and making products more accessible in retail stores. All-in-all this will both benefit and hurt the industry’s future, time will reveal all things to come.


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