Though electronic cigarettes have been proved by multiple scientific studies to be the most effective method for weaning off of cigarette smoking, the Canadian legislature seems to have another opinion of the fairly new form of water vapor smoking today. Institutions like the Royal College of Physician have put out reports, ‘Nicotine without smoke: tobacco harm reduction’ that prove e-cigarettes are likely to be beneficial to the greater UK public health.
The proof is there, but what about the Canadian legislature’s interpretation of the facts and information we know about vaping today?
This past spring, the Senate put forth a bill, S-5, that would, if passed and enacted into law, restrict the promotion of electronic cigarettes as a reliable ‘tobacco cessation method.’ Put simply: this bill wants to curtail the amount of media and articles stating that e-cigarettes have health-related benefits that appeals to smokers.
Senator Jane Cordy, reported by Canadian Unerwriter, stated, “The reality is that it is impossible to know the long-term effects of vaping or the effects of inhaling vapor and particularly vapor containing nicotine at this point in time.” She recorded these statements on May 18, 2017 during the third debate on Bill S-5. If passed, S-5 would amend the Non-Smokers’ Health Act and the Tobacco Act.
Bill S-5 Provisions
This bill aims to prohibit the promotion of vaping in a manner that could persuade a person into thinking vaping is actually beneficial for their health in the short and long term. However, there is one notable exception: doctor’s can recommend the vapor pens as an alternative for weaning off of cigarettes today. The government wants to limit the promotion of e-cigarettes as something that can be safely and healthily pursued by non-smokers looking to get into smoking.
Additionally, the bill would regulate vaping products based on the criteria already set forth by the Food and Drugs Act, Tobacco Act, and the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. Senator Petitclerc, during a debate on the bill in December 2016, stated that, “Vaping products that contain nicotine or which are claimed to have a therapeutic benefit must be approved by the Health Canada before they can be sold.”
Lastly, the bill prohibits advertising vaporizers in a way that could be appealing to youth. With the nitrosamines, nicotine infusions, and other elements to the e-juice that makes it a viable alternative for cigarette smokers, representatives argue it is not fit for teenagers.
The S-5 Debate
Ultimately, the debate comes down to the composition of e-juices and what goes into them. Some distributors are more transparent about their juices than others, with some organic juices containing simply nicotine, vapor, flavoring, and a few “harmless” chemicals, deemed so by the Food and Drugs Act. Other juices come with their fair share of chemicals that can be closely associated with carcinogens, or cancer-inducing compounds.
Everyone seems to be in agreement that e-cigarettes are the best option for smokers looking to wean off of cigarettes, and S-5 clearly protects that portion of their usage.