Vaping in the dark

    Adults in Canada will soon have easier access to electronic cigarettes and vaping supplies — and be exposed to more advertisements promoting them — now that the federal Liberal government has passed legislation formally legalizing and regulating the practice of vaping, according to a Canadian Press story.
    Once the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act receives royal assent in the coming days, it will prohibit the sale of vape products to minors, ban flavors aimed at young people and prohibit marketing that features testimonials, health claims or lifestyle themes.
    At the same time, it will allow the legal manufacture, import and sale of vaping products both with and without nicotine, Health Canada said yesterday.
    Other provisions will come into force 180 days after the bill becomes law to give manufacturers and importers time to comply.
    Manufacturers that want to market their products with therapeutic claims, such as for smoking cessation, will still require Health Canada’s blessing before their products can be imported, advertised or sold in Canada.
    Some experts welcomed the vaping regulations, saying they give legitimacy to something that could prove a boon for smokers who are trying to quit. Others fear the restrictions could keep those very same people from exploring vaping’s potential as a less-harmful alternative to smoking.
    Where they agree, however, is that Canada continues to lack sufficient research into vaping and its potential effects.
    The law essentially treated vaping like smoking, with similar regulations, said David Sweanor, an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics.
    It prevented companies that made non-combustible products from informing smokers about significantly less hazardous options, and failed adequately to distinguish between the risks of using combustible cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other alternatives.
    But Canadian Medical Association president Dr. Laurent Marcoux welcomed the legislation for its restrictions on promoting and advertising vape products, and said it was still too soon to embrace vaping as a potential stop-smoking aid