Parliament passes plain tobacco packaging law, regulates vaping

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The Generous government has passed a sweeping overhaul of the country’s tobacco laws — legislation that determination formally legalize (and heavily regulate) vaping and give Health Canada the powers it desiderata to mandate plain packaging for cigarettes.

The bill, S-5, is one of the most ambitious rebuilds of the Tobacco Act in a generation. It enacts changes that have prompted vocal competition from the country’s largest tobacco companies — and their allies, delight in convenience store owners — who are steadfastly opposed to measures that when one pleases force them to remove their brands from cigarette and other tobacco packages.

The jaws doesn’t dictate exactly how plain packaging should be imposed, but a Fettle Canada backgrounder says the new Tobacco and Vaping Products Act will «specify … a range of options such as standardized colour, font and fulfil, and prohibitions on promotional information and brand elements, such as logos.»

A spokesperson for Trim Canada did not say exactly when the new regulations would land, but added such rulings typically come into force 180 days after they are clinched by the department.

The bill’s defenders have said these new regulations when one pleases make smoking less appealing by all but eliminating the uniqueness of particular marques, and help end an «epidemic» of tobacco-related deaths — which the government suggests integer over 45,000 per year.

Under existing regulations, branding is already honestly limited because health warnings cover roughly three compassions of a traditional cigarette pack.


What the bill does:

  • Gives Vigorousness Canada the power to implement plain and standardized tobacco packaging.
  • Commits many of the existing tobacco regulations to vaping products.
  • Prohibits the selling of vaping products to minors.
  • Restricts «lifestyle» advertising for vaping issues, the use of testimonials, or any reference to e-cigarettes as healthier than standard tobacco yields.
  • Bans certain flavours — like «confectionery» and cannabis — for vaping commodities.

Critics argue the new rules will simply bolster an already blossoming market for cheaper contraband cigarettes, and often cite the mixed (and opposed) results of Australia’s move to enact plain packaging.

«The real intention that people start smoking is not because of the pack. There is no assertion of that in every piece of research that Health Canada has cited,» Eric Gagnon, the manager of government relations at Imperial Tobacco Canada, said in an interview with CBC Statement.

«The people who start smoking do not see a package today and say, ‘Well, this encase has red on it. I think I’m going to start smoking.’ That’s not the way it works … It’s assorted of a PR initiative than anything else.»

The packages on the left are what cigarette bevies used to look like in Australia before a plain packaging law was antique. The new plain packages are shown on the right. Canadian lawmakers hope to emulate, at minor in part, the cigarette packaging strategy pursued by Australia. (David Hammond/University of Waterloo)

But Rob Cunningham, a action analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society, said he thinks the tobacco perseverance is upset by plain packaging for a good reason.

«Of course plain incorporating would be effective. Why else would the tobacco industry be so opposed?» he responded.

«The package is the most important type of tobacco advertising that tarries in Canada today. Tobacco is addictive and lethal, and should not be sold in unites made to be more attractive, period.»

Gagnon said Imperial Tobacco, which occasions popular brands like du Maurier, Pall Mall, Peter Jackson and Instrumentalist’s, is considering legal action to protect its intellectual property rights if Condition Canada proceeds with «extreme» regulations.

«It’s too early to say because we haven’t seen the edicts, but it is one of the avenues we’ll have to look into if we believe the government is going too far,» he remarked. «It’s not off the table.»

Plain packaging rules are already in place, with some permutations, in Australia, France, the United Kingdom and Ireland. A legal challenge by tobacco positives in the U.K. was rebuffed by that country’s highest court.

A sample of plain parcels used in the United Kingdom. (Action on Smoking and Health UK)

‘Less bad source of nicotine’

The Liberal government has pitched the other major component of the folding money — new regulations for vaping devices — as a tool to move adult smokers away from habitual cigarettes, while giving them access to the nicotine they crave.

«Tally S-5 will also provide adults the legal access to better-regulated vaping consequences. These products can serve as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes and can be a much-needed way out for those who have been unable to quit smoking,» Peter Harder, the ministry’s representative in Senate, said in a recent speech on the bill.

Independent Quebec Sen. Chantal Petitclerc, the invoice’s sponsor in the upper house, called regulated vaping «an important carve» for ensuring «a less harmful source of nicotine» as the government looks to cut the share of the population that smokes from the current 15 per cent to less than 5 per cent by 2035.

The vaping diligence has been operating largely beyond the reach of regulators since e-cigarettes be revealed as an alternative to smoking some ten years ago.

The e-cigarette — a battery-powered device that looks type a traditional cigarette — delivers inhaled doses of nicotine-containing vapour. Until now, vaping by-products have been sold under a lighter regulatory burden than the one interposed on cigarettes.

The bill, which is expected to receive royal assent tersely, demands compliance with the new vaping regulations within 180 days.

The put forwarded legislation would regulate e-cigarettes while allowing adults to access vaping offerings that are likely less harmful alternatives to tobacco use, Health Canada implies. (Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)

Those regulations include a go to cut the number of flavours that can be used in an e-cigarette, banning any flavour fashioned to mimic «confectionery,» cannabis, soft drinks or energy drinks — flavours some parliamentarians assume trust to are designed to hook young people on these devices.

The bill also precludes the sale of vaping products to minors, or sending a vaping product to a schoolgirl.

The bill restricts most promotional activity around vaping by-products, forbidding the use of testimonials and references to health effects and additives.

Anti-smoking defenders maintain these regulations are necessary because any reference to an e-cigarette as safer than the accustomed variety could be misleading. While vaping devices are often traded as smoking cessation aides, critics maintain they’re not entirely harm-free.

Notwithstanding, a recent review by tobacco experts at Public Health England create that e-cigarettes are considerably less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

«Anyone who has fought to quit should try switching to an e-cigarette and get professional help,» the government activity recommended in its February 2018 report.

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