Health Canada has responded to calls to restrict e-cigarette flavours by stating there is a difference between child-friendly advertising and beneficial flavours for smokers.
The ongoing crackdown on flavoured e-liquids in the US has been the dominant story of the trade in recent months, with the FDA having successfully restricted where such liquids can be sold. Various groups, spurred by a disturbing rise in teen vaping, have widened the project into an international endeavour, and are bringing concerns to their own public health authorities.
The Canadian Pediatric Society has urged Health Canada to follow in the FDA’s footsteps. A joint statement from the society said:
“While we are pleased that several of our recommendations — specifically the bans on e-cigarette advertisements and merchandise that appeal to youth — are reflected in current Canadian laws, even stronger rules and enforcement are need.”
In an email responding to the inquiry, Health Canada spokesperson Maryse Durette said:
“While Canada and the U.S. have both recently regulated the vaping marketplace, the situation is not the same in the two countries,”
Though Health Canada maintains a strict stance against what they deem “the promotion of flavours that may be appealing to youth, such as candy and dessert…” there is no sign of them taking an across-the-board stance against flavour sales in retail stores and gas stations, as the US authorities have.
In the same email, Durette stated the positive effects flavours have had on helping adult smokers quit, and that there is not legal basis for the same level of restricition seen in the US, even in light of recent Canadian regulation.
“Flavours help make vaping liquids palatable to adult smokers seeking a less harmful alternative to tobacco. Therefore, the use of flavours in vaping liquids is not prohibited under the TVPA [Tobacco and Vaping Products Act]. Health Canada has a rigorous compliance and enforcement program in place to monitor vaping manufacturers’, importers’ and sellers’ compliance.”