(Ottawa – September 19, 2019). Today representatives from eight leading health organizations appealed for immediate federal action to curb the marketing of vaping products. The group urges all federal political parties to commit to an urgent interim order to put vaping products under the same type of restrictions that are in place for tobacco products. The group includes Action on Smoking and Health, Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Lung Association, Coalition québécoise pour le contrôle du tabac, Heart & Stroke, Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco and Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.
“With this interim order, the vaping market can quickly be brought under the same kind of controls that are currently in place for tobacco products. This will prevent vaping companies from enticing young people with fun flavours like Peach Swirl or exposing them to promotions visible to the general public.” Terry Dean, CEO, Canadian Lung Association
Given the normal delays that take place during and after an election, the only way to have protective restraints in place this calendar year is if an interim order is made using the powers of the Department of Health Act.[i] The group is concerned that waiting any longer will only increase the risks for Canadians and is therefore calling for party leaders to commit immediately, should they form government, to using an interim order within 60 days of forming government.
Currently the federal law allows promotions for vaping products on television, radio, billboards, public transit hubs, convenience stores, social media, newspapers and other mainstream media. It allows manufacturers to entice youth and non-smokers with attractive flavours, give the products away and imposes no obligations for nicotine limits or health warnings on packages.
- The sale of nicotine-based vaping products on the grey market was tolerated in Canada for several years until it was legalized by the passage of the federal Tobacco and Vaping Products Act in May 2018.
- One-fifth of high school aged kids report that they are using vaping products, as are one-seventh of children who are only 13 and 14 years old. [ii]
- Youth vaping among 16-19-year olds increased by a dramatic 74% in a single year, from 2017 to 2018.
- Youth cigarette smoking dropped dramatically after tobacco promotions were restricted in this way in the early 2000s, as did their use of flavoured little cigars after the flavourings were restricted.
- Earlier this year, a public opinion poll found that almost nine in 10 Canadian (86%) supported the government applying the same advertising restrictions to vaping products with nicotine as were applied to tobacco products.[iii] Seven out of 10 (69%) support urgent intervention by the government to address use among young people.
- In March, every provinces and territory formally called on the federal government to align restrictions on the display, advertising and promotion of vaping products with those in place for tobacco products.[iv]
Marketing and Communications Manager
Canadian Lung Association
[i] Department of Health Act – Section 11.1:
11 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations to give effect to and carry out the objects of this Act.
(2) Every person who contravenes a regulation is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
11.1 (1) The Minister may make an interim order that contains any provision that may be contained in a regulation made under section 11 if the Minister believes that immediate action is required to deal with a significant risk, direct or indirect, to health or safety.
(2) An interim order has effect from the time that it is made but ceases to have effect on the earliest of
(a) 14 days after it is made, unless it is approved by the Governor in Council,
(b) the day on which it is repealed,
(c) the day on which a regulation made under section 11, that has the same effect as the interim order, comes into force, and
(d) one year after the interim order is made or any shorter period that may be specified in the interim order.
[ii] Earnscliffe Strategy Group. Qualitative and Quantitative Research on Perceptions of Nicotine. Final Report. POR 067-18. Exhibit G10, G18, G26. Data for 15-19 year olds and 13-14 year olds.
[iii] Leger. Promotion of Vaping Products seen by youth. April 2019.
[iv] Letter from Andrew Loughead and Dr. Robert Strang to Health Canada. March 22, 2019.