E-Cigarettes Banned in Canada But Smoking Isn't?

Discussion in 'eCig Industry News & Reports' started by saintjames, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. saintjames

    saintjames Member Member

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    Source: http://copd.about.com/b/2012/10/28/e-cigarettes-banned-in-canada-but-smoking-isnt.htm

    I don't profess to know a lot about the e-cigarette industry -- my interest only recently sparked while researching an article I wrote for this website -- but I had to laugh today after reading on a news website that the sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine is illegal in Canada but the sale of real cigarettes isn't. And, apparently Canada is not the only country that's doing this.

    The advertisement, import and sales of e-cigarettes containing nicotine was banned in Canada in March of 2009. Since that time, thousands of Canadians who use them have been forced to buy them in other countries and have them shipped across the border where they can be confiscated by customs officials.
    E-cigarettes containing non-nicotine cartridges are not banned, nor are other nicotine replacement therapies like Nicorette gum or the nicotine patch. The issue has set off a wave of controversy that has yet to end.
    Health Canada hasn't made the use of the e-cigarettes with nicotine illegal (yet) and cites the following reasons for the current ban:
    • Improper use can lead to nicotine poisoning
    • They haven't received market authorization
    • They can cause addiction
    • Lack of quality control
    Many Canadians suspect the ban is not due to health issues at all, but to the millions of dollars in governmental tax revenue generated each year by the sale of tobacco products. If more people switch to e-cigarettes, less people buy the real deal, which places a big strain on the tobacco industry. It also means that there will be less tax dollars to fill the pockets of the Canadian government.

    What do you think is the real reason behind this ban? Are you as unraveled as I am about the double standard that exists here? Why would Health Canada allow the sale of cigarettes that kill hundreds of thousands of people each year, yet ban the sale of e-cigarettes because they consider them to be unsafe? I welcome your comments as I continue to search for answers to these questions.
     
  2. MidnightVaper

    MidnightVaper Vendor Vendor

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    I have some opinions on why I think things are progressing slowly when it comes to official recognition of electronic cigarettes in Canada, but first I think we should clarity something, as it is a point that seems to be miss understood by many who are new to e-cigs and/or especially those who oppose e-cigs or at least are skeptical of them. As far as I know, the sale of electronic cigarette liquid containing nicotine is not illegal in Canada, but rather banned by Health Canada. The difference may seem subtle but it is an important one. You can not be charged with any offense for selling nicotine based liquids. You can not be arrested, detained, harassed or otherwise sanctioned, other than having your nicotine liquids seized (as a retailer) by Heath Canada. I stress as a retailer because individual users will not have nicotine liquids seized once they are in possession of them within Canada. It is not banned to use nicotine liquids it is banned to import or sell them.

    Heath Canada has banned the importation and sales of nicotine based liquids. They have not banned nicotine free liquids or any hardware (batteries, cartomizers, etc). This means that both vendors and individuals can have their liquids seized at the border by Health Canada if they contain nicotine. This has happened to me and no doubt some of you in the past. The simple solution to this is to purchase your nicotine based liquids from within Canada as it will not have to be imported since it is already here. As an individual user there is very little to be concerned about regarding the Heath Canada ban. Simply don't try to import nicotine liquid into Canada and you have nothing to worry about. As a vendor, if you should choose to offer nicotine based liquids you have a bit more at stake because even the nic liquids that you already have within Canada can also be seized.

    Not trying to write a book here, but I will continue in another post to address the original question which is why do we think things are like this now...
     
  3. MidnightVaper

    MidnightVaper Vendor Vendor

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    My feelings on why we are where we are with e-cigs is a combination of things including some the op touched on. In order of importance to the issue (of course just my opinion) I'm thinking...

    1. Big tobacco is BIG. These guys have a lot of resources and a lot of power and they lobby hard. There would not be too much motivation for politicians & government organizations to try and take on big tobacco.

    2. Money is a big motivating factor for things to get done in politics. It's not so much about all the tax dollars that would be lost by declining cigarette sales (after all they could simply decide to tax electronic cigarettes just as high or higher as regular cigarettes) but it's the fact that approving the sale of electronic cigarettes represents very little monetary benefit to governments at this time. That is short sighted thinking in my opinion because one of the major possible monetary benefits would be in the reduced cost of heath care services to the Canadian public. Whatever loss in tax dollars from reduced cigarette sales could easily be out weighed by less public dollars spend on the health care system if electronic cigarettes are indeed much less harmful to our heath (as we probably all suspect).

    3. Nothing moves very quickly when there is bureaucracy involved.

    4. Vapers are under funded, under represented and unorganized. This is slowly being improved upon, even here in Canada (see ECTA) but for the most part we as the vaping community have not had enough of a movement to lobby politicians or to challenge the often misleading information and fear mongering that has been thrown our way. It is absolutely true that there has not been enough study or testing done on these products (at least until recently) to be able to take hard evidence to policy makers, government organizations and the general public and say yes this product is safe, a far better alternative and beneficial to both individual Canadians and the Canadian public at large. If we could do this in a way that clearly satisfies the critics then there would be much more pressure to open up e-cig sales both with and without nic, and in fact to welcome it.

    The down side is... even if we do change the governments stance as well as public opinion, once electronic cigarette sales reach general acceptance they will just be taken over by big tobacco who will dump their billions of profit from analog sales into digital sales instead, and the government will probably tax and regulate the hell out of it.
     
  4. MidnightVaper

    MidnightVaper Vendor Vendor

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    Would like to add to point 1 about big tobacco. Big tobacco also controls the other nicotine replacement systems like the patch and nicorettes. These methods to quit smoking are widely known to be ineffective. So big tobacco profits massively by keeping millions of Canadians addicted to cigarettes for years while they are slowly killing them all, then they profit again by selling stop smoking devices to the same people they addicted in the first place, and since they know the devices don't work they know they will either continue to profit off of more cigarette sales when you relapse or they will continue to profit off of selling you more and more stop smoking devices.
     
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  5. saintjames

    saintjames Member Member

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    This also worries me! But it seems this didn't happen in the US yet?
     
  6. Zero

    Zero Professor of Vapology Member

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