Changes in Canadian E-cigarette Market


The latest data from the Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey (CTNS) has revealed some concerning statistics about e-cigarette usage among young Canadians. According to the survey, which was released by Statistics Canada on September 11th, nearly half of young adults aged 20 to 24 and approximately one-third of teenagers aged 15 to 19 have reported trying e-cigarettes at least once. This data highlights the need for increased regulation and public health measures to address the growing popularity of e-cigarettes among young people.

Just three months ago, a report from Canada called for significant changes in the e-cigarette market, which had often been referred to as a "Wild West" industry due to its lack of regulation. The new regulations demand that e-cigarette companies submit biannual sales data and ingredient lists to the Canadian Health Department. The first of these reports is due by the end of this year. The primary objective of these regulations is to gain a better understanding of the popularity of e-cigarette products, particularly among adolescents, and to identify the specific components users are inhaling.

In response to the concerns surrounding e-cigarette use, various provinces have taken action to address the issue. For instance, Quebec is planning to ban flavored e-cigarette pods, with this ban scheduled to take effect on October 31st. According to the province's regulations, only tobacco-flavored or flavorless e-cigarette pods will be allowed for sale in Quebec. While this move has been met with resistance from the e-cigarette industry, it has been welcomed by anti-smoking advocates.

As of September, six provinces and regions have either banned or planned to ban the sale of most flavors of e-cigarette pods. These include Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Quebec (with the ban to take effect from October 31). Additionally, Ontario, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan have implemented regulations that restrict the sale of flavored e-cigarette liquid to specialized e-cigarette stores, and minors are prohibited from entering these stores.

Protecting public health, especially that of young Canadians, has become a top priority for many advocates and organizations. Rob Cunningham, a representative from the Canadian Cancer Society, is urging the federal government to take action. He is advocating for the implementation of draft regulations proposed by the Department of Health in 2021. These proposed regulations would impose restrictions on all e-cigarette flavors nationwide, with exceptions for tobacco, menthol, and mint flavors. Cunningham emphasized the potential health risks associated with e-cigarettes, stating, "E-cigarettes are highly addictive. They pose health risks, and we still don't know the full extent of their long-term dangers."

On the other hand, Darryl Tempest, Government Relations Legal Counsel for the Canadian Vaping Association (CVA), argues that flavored e-cigarettes serve as a valuable tool for adults looking to quit smoking and that potential harm is often exaggerated. He believes that the focus should be on harm reduction rather than moral judgments.

It's worth noting that while there is a push to regulate e-cigarette flavors, other flavored products such as alcoholic beverages have not faced similar restrictions. The ongoing debate over flavored products, e-cigarettes, and their impact on public health continues to be a complex and contentious issue in Canada.

Post time: Oct-12-2023