Today Health Canada announced new proposed regulations to further restrict the promotion of vaping products, with the aim of reducing youth exposure to such advertising and thereby protect them from inducements to using vaping products.
On December 19, 2019, Health Canada
announced new proposed regulations to further restrict the promotion of vaping products.
Arthur C. Green
The proposed Vaping Products Promotion Regulations reflect comments received earlier this year in response to the Government’s consultation on proposed new regulatory measures to restrict vaping product advertising.
These regulations would prohibit advertising that can be seen or heard by youth, and prohibit the display of vaping products at retail locations, including online, that can be seen by youth. The proposed regulations would also require the display of health warnings on permitted vaping advertisements.
Health Canada also announced the final Vaping Products Labelling and Packaging Regulations to create new labelling and packaging requirements for vaping products to increase awareness of the health hazards of using vaping products, help prevent the public from being misled about those hazards and to help protect the health and safety of Canadians, especially young children, by reducing the risk that they will ingest vaping substances containing toxic concentrations of nicotine.
A study published in the British Medical Journal in June 2019 found a 74 per cent increase in vaping among youth aged 16 to 19 in Canada from 2017 to 2018.
Health Canada consulted Canadians on the Vaping Products Labelling and Packaging Regulations from June to September 2019. The Department considered all feedback in the development of the final regulations. They require that vaping substances display important health and safety information. Vaping products containing nicotine must display a standardized nicotine concentration statement and a health warning about the addictiveness of nicotine.
Most underage users report purchasing their vaping products illegally from vape shops
or convenience stores after seeing vaping advertising at the locations.
In addition, vaping products containing nicotine must be packaged in child-resistant containers and display a toxicity warning and first-aid treatment statement. A list of ingredients must be displayed on all vaping substances, regardless of nicotine content. These regulations will come into force on July 1, 2020 with one exception. The requirement for refillable vaping devices and their parts to be child-resistant will come into force on January 1, 2021.
The FDA and its regulations apply to vape products that are marketed for therapeutic use (for example, products that have a health claim, such as “helps people quit smoking”). This includes products that contain nicotine or any other drugs as defined by the FDA. Products marketed for therapeutic use must receive an authorization from Health Canada before they can be advertised, sold or commercially imported in Canada.
“To date, no vaping products have received authorization under the FDA.”Government of Canada
Vaping Products That Contain Cannabis
Vaping products containing cannabis are regulated under the Cannabis Act and its regulations. The Cannabis Act came into force on October 17, 2018, and establishes the framework for controlling the production, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada.
The purpose of the Act is to protect public health and public safety, by, among other things, restricting youth access to cannabis, protecting young persons and others from inducements to using cannabis, and deterring illicit activities in relation to cannabis through appropriate sanctions and enforcement measures.
Following the coming into force of amendments to the Cannabis Regulations on October 17, 2019, cannabis extracts, such as vaping products, are legal for sale in Canada and are expected to gradually enter the Canadian market.
Vaping products containing cannabis that are available through the illegal market in Canada are not subject to any controls or oversight and may pose additional risks to health and safety. Canadians should not purchase these products, and should immediately stop using any that may be in their possession.
Ottawa moves to restrict vaping advertisements to prevent youth exposure.
In developing the regulations governing the production and sale of new cannabis products, including vaping products, Health Canada took into consideration risks associated with various routes of exposure to cannabis.
Inhalation poses potential health risks because of the greater sensitivity and vulnerability of lung tissue to certain chemicals. For this reason, some of the regulatory requirements pertaining to inhalable cannabis extracts, such as vaping products, are even more stringent than those for other non-inhaled cannabis products.
“Licence holders must comply with all the provisions of the Cannabis Act and its regulations.”Government of Canada
Under the amended regulations, ingredients that can be used in cannabis extracts, including vaping products, are restricted. It is prohibited for cannabis extracts to contain anything that may cause injury to the health of the user when the product is used as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable way.
Further, cannabis extracts, including vaping products, are not permitted to contain anything other than carrier substances, flavouring agents and substances that are necessary to maintain the quality or stability of the product.
The use of sugars, sweeteners or sweetening agents as ingredients in cannabis extracts, including vaping products, is not allowed. Nicotine, caffeine and ethyl alcohol are prohibited in cannabis vaping products.
Similar to the rules for nicotine vaping products, the use of any ingredient listed in
column 1 of Schedule 2 to the TVPA is not permitted in cannabis extracts, including vaping products.
This includes prohibiting the addition of colouring agents, mineral nutrients and vitamins, including vitamin E acetate (although small amounts of vitamins are permitted to be used when necessary to preserve product quality or stability or to be present in carrier substances or flavouring agents at naturally occurring levels).
In addition, to reduce the risks associated with vaping cannabis, the ingredients used in cannabis vaping products, other than flavouring agents, must be of pharmaceutical quality.
Licence holders are required to retain records related to cannabis extracts, such as vaping products, that they produce, and these records need to contain information on the ingredients used, their purpose and the results of analytical tests that must be conducted (e.g., microbial and chemical contaminant testing, THC and CBD concentration).
The Cannabis Act and its regulations also include packaging and labelling controls to protect young persons and others from inducements to using cannabis and to promote informed consumer decisions. Cannabis extracts, including vaping products, need to be in plain, child-resistant packaging. Each package needs to be labelled with the standardized cannabis symbol if it contains THC, a health warning message developed by Health Canada, the product’s THC and CBD concentration and a list of ingredients, among other required elements.
In addition, the amended Cannabis Regulations require the display of the standardized cannabis symbol on any cannabis accessory that contains inhalable cannabis extracts, such as vaping products, and that contains more than 10 μg/g of THC (e.g., the device or cartridge containing the cannabis extract).
These packaging and labelling requirements complement the strict controls on promotion established in the Cannabis Act, which are designed to protect young persons and others from inducements to using cannabis.
In general, it is prohibited to promote cannabis, including cannabis vaping products. Limited promotion of cannabis, cannabis accessories and services related to cannabis is permitted under the Cannabis Act. For example, informational or brand-preference promotion is permitted in limited circumstances, such as if the promotion is in a place where young persons are not permitted by law or if it is in a communication that is addressed and sent to an adult who is identified by name.
” Licence holders are required to provide Health Canada with 60 days’ notice in advance of selling a cannabis product for the first time in Canada”Government of Canada
This requirement applies to all products, including cannabis vaping products. This notice does not constitute approval for sale by Health Canada, nor does it mean that the product complies with legislative or regulatory requirements. This notice period may provide Health Canada an opportunity to intervene before a product enters the market if the Department has concerns or questions. Licence holders are responsible for ensuring that all their products meet the requirements set out in the Act and Regulations.
As with vaping products containing nicotine, the safety of cannabis vaping devices (such as the batteries) is regulated under the CCPSA.
The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA), which became law on May 23, 2018, regulates the manufacture, sale, labelling and promotion of both tobacco and vaping products (other than those that contain cannabis) regardless of whether the vaping products contain nicotine or make a therapeutic claim.
The Government of Canada has established a strong regulatory framework for vaping products and continues to take concrete action to reduce and prevent uptake by youth and adults who do not smoke tobacco products. This framework provides information to Canadians on the risks of vaping, including general information on what vaping is.