The American vaping community is not the only electorate facing a possible nationwide flavor ban. Just last week, the government of Canada passed sweeping legislation that will overhaul the manners in which vaping and tobacco products are sold and advertised. Bill S-5, also known as the Vaping and Tobacco Products Act, will amend both the Non-smokers’ Health Act of 1988 and the Tobacco Act of 1997. It will also re-standardize federal branding requirements for tobacco products relating to packaging, font selections, colors, and finishes. Even manufacturer logos are prohibited.
While there appears to be some wiggle room regarding the advertising restrictions for vaping products, all ingredients must be listed clearing on the packaging while other ingredients are now strictly forbidden. According to Canada Bill S-5, e-liquid vendors can no longer include caffeine, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, coloring agents, and other specifically-defined substances in their e-juice recipes.
A federal ban on confectionary, dessert, and cannabis flavors of e-liquid is also in place while brands based on soft drinks and energy drinks are also prohibited. All regulatory issues fall under the jurisdiction of the Health Canada agency and should be implemented within 180-days after the passage of the bill is finalized.
Overview of Canada’s new vaping and tobacco regulations
Implementing anti-smoking regulations is a no-brainer, but why is Canada taking such an aggressive approach towards vaping, too? Apparently, even certain politicians in the Great White North are involved in disinformation campaigns claiming that vaping is a gateway to teen smoking. Unfortunately, it seems to be working, much like here in the United States, because the limiting of e-liquid flavors is only one of the primary regulations targeting the Canadian vaping industry. Other restrictions include the following.
- Bill S-5 restricts “lifestyle” advertising for vaping products, or marketing campaigns “that could be construed on reasonable grounds to be appealing to young persons.”
- Sales to minors are also prohibited.
- Even the purchasing of vaping products to be given as gifts to minors is prohibited (both the adult and the minor may get into legal trouble).
- Health Canada has the authority to implement many of the new or existing tobacco-related advertising restrictions on vaping products, as well, which means that plain packaging requirements for vaping may be applicable in the future.
- Bill S-5 also bans the sales of e-liquid flavors mimicking confectionary, dessert, cannabis, soft drink, and energy drink products.
- The legislation also forbids multiple e-liquid ingredients and additives, including amino acids, caffeine, coloring agents, essentially fatty acids, glucuronolactone, probiotics, taurine, vitamins, and minerals.
Critics of Bill S-5 say that there can be no reasonable explanation for the passage of a new regulatory package that includes restrictions for both vaping and smoking because one involves the carcinogenic burning of tobacco leaves and the other does not. Meanwhile, representatives of Big Tobacco companies in Canada are angered by any references in Bill S-5 claiming or implying that vaping is less harmful than smoking.
And just like in the United States, the Canadian Parliament seems to be lumping vaping products into the same category as combustible tobacco even though scientific evidence from the Motherland’s Public Health England (Canada is still an official commonwealth of England even today) proves that vaping is up to 95 percent less harmful than smoking. Bill S-5 states the following.
Even with the new vaping restrictions clearly in place, Canadian politicians are promoting the passage of Bill S-5 as a significant win for the vaping community. Many are claiming that the new regulations are only meant to make vaping safer, which, in turn, will hopefully attract more smokers to make the switch.
While the new vaping restrictions might become problematic for veteran vapers dependent on their favorite “confectionary” e-liquids, the Canadian vaping community has at least one thing going in their favor that Americans don’t. Their government seems to be at least minimally supportive of vaping as a smoking cessation tool, a statement that America’s FDA has yet to make publicly even to this date.