Health Canada has reportedly seized an estimated $1 million in illegal vaping products from vape shops in Vernon and Kelowna after receiving complaints that vapor products were being explicitly and deliberately marketed to minors via social media.
In an emailed statement to the Morning Star on Friday, the agency said, in part:
“Health Canada takes non-compliance with the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA) very seriously and has a robust compliance and enforcement plan to verify industry compliance with prohibitions on the sale and promotion of vaping products.”
While Health Canada did not name the non-compliant business or disclose an exact figure for the value of the seized product, Interior Health Tobacco Enforcement officer Emelia Gazsity estimated the figure to be, “probably $1-million worth of product that was illegal.”
Explaining the genesis of last month’s enforcement action, Gazsity said:
“I made a call because I got a complaint about a business that was specifically honing in on kids and they had sent out 875 Facebook requests to kids.”
Health Canada then took action, conducting inspections of the suspect business’s Vernon and Kelowna retail locations.
“I’m not wanting to shut down the vaping industry, I really think it has a place as a harm reduction tool. It’s just what they were doing is promoting to kids and starting to get kids addicted, and that’s not a good thing.”
Health Canada continues to monitor retailer and industry compliance, reports Kelowna Capital News.