Canadian Vaping faces a huge legislative hurdle as the Lower house of commons discusses S-5, A bill that would dramatically change the Canadian vaping industry
. If Passed, the bill would classify vaping as a health hazard, and steer public policy towards restriction with the hopes of eventually eliminating vaping altogether. The law would prevent truthful information from being presented by vendors, restrict honest descriptions and labeling of many flavors, and open the door for hardware restrictions and bans that eclipse European regulations. While the EU's strategy seems to rely on restriction, and the FDA in the United States making money the barrier for approval, S-5 would give Health Canada not only the authority to crack way down, but the specific directive to seek the end of vaping through misinformation and truth restriction.
According to a legal analysis commissioned by the Electronic Cigarette Trade Association (ECTA), “Bill S-5, as written, creates a significant risk and potential for complete and total ban based on individual perception and ideology, not science or the best interests of public health. Additionally, it presents a significant number constitutional conflicts.”
The bill’s purposes are stated clearly:
- To protect young persons and non-users of tobacco products from inducements to use vaping products;
- To protect the health of young persons and non-users of tobacco products from exposure to and dependence on nicotine that could result from the use of vaping products;
- To protect the health of young persons by restricting access to vaping products;
- To prevent the public from being deceived or misled with respect to the health hazards of using vaping products; and
- To enhance public awareness of those hazards.
European regulations are already putting the squeeze on its vapers, with Nicotine strength limits set around tobacco cigarette levels, Bottle sizes restricted to very small sizes, and Tank sizes kept ridiculously tiny, one can only imagine what kind of draconian rules would befall Canadian vapers when Health Canada gets unrestricted power over the industry.
One ridiculous rule states that all devices that hold eliquid must be child resistant. Meaning that nearly all currently available tanks would be outlawed and need to be child-resistant before they could be sold in Canada.
Vaping360 summed up the bills effects like this:
"What will Bill S-5 do?
- Make it illegal for vape shops to truthfully tell customers that vaping is less harmful than combustible cigarettes
- Allow Health Canada to regulate products in the future as it chooses — and this has already begun. The agency has announced that all vaping products that contain nicotine must have child-resistant caps, including tanks [see below]
- Eliminate many popular flavors by preventing manufacturers from honestly describing them. It bans flavor descriptions that indicate candy, dessert, and soft drink flavors, for example — and Health Canada will be free to amend the list at any time
- Probably lead to American tobacco companies moving in and taking over the bulk of the vaping market in Canada. Cigarette companies have the money, regulatory knowledge, and distribution power to overwhelm a small market (or a large one, for that matter!)
- Violate constitutional rights. Bill S-5 has been criticized by legal experts like the Canadian Constitution Foundation for violating constitutional rights of Canadian citizens "
But it isn't law.... yet.
Public Comment closes October 27th. Then its up to Canadian MPs to decide its fate as it passes though committee hearings on its way to a second reading on the Lower House of Commons. From there it's just a short trip to becoming law; Putting Canada atop the world's list of strictest vaping regulations.