Health Canada Considers Allowing Vapor Harm Reduction Claims

By October 18, 2019News

In a closed door consultation this past fall, Health Canada considered a proposal which would allow vapor products manufacturers to market their goods as being less harmful than traditional cigarettes. Currently, such claims are prohibited by the federal body.

Example statements, according to The Globe and Mail, include:

“Switching completely from smoking to e-cigarettes will reduce harms to your health.”

and

“If you are a smoker, switching completely to vaping is a much less harmful option.”

The proposal is strongly opposed by non-governmental bodies, however. Some, such as Dr. Theo Moraes of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, appear to oppose vaping fundamentally and categorically, saying:

“When you look at the totality of the influence of vaping on society, it is by far way more harmful. It has contributed much more harm than benefit.”

Dr. Moraes is not quoted as regards the basis of this assertion. Likewise opposed to Health Canada’s proposal is Rob Cunningham, a senior senior policy analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society, who said:

“There shouldn’t be public-facing advertising by tobacco companies or others for e-cigarettes. Do we want to be trusting tobacco companies to be able to engage in widespread messaging? No, we don’t.”

But not all the voices heard stand against the proposal designed to draw adult smokers away from their deadly habit and onto a less harmful path. When contacted for comment, JUUL Labs Canada directed the press to the Vaping Industry Trade Association, whose President, Daniel David, went on record saying:

“Our hope is, so long as there is that ability to market directly to adult smokers and vapers and use certain authorized statements, I think it would be our right.”

Indeed, it is now well established by the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Physicians, and affirmed by the United States’ National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine that vaping is ~95% less harmful than smoking tobacco.

John Castle

Author John Castle

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