Canadian Underwriter

Vaping ‘less harmful than traditional tobacco,’ Liberal MP says

November 13, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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A federal bill proposing to regulate the manufacture and sale of electronic cigarettes has received some support from the opposition.

“The vaping industry today is totally unregulated,” said Marilyn Gladu, Conservative MP for Sarnia-Lambton, Ont. said recently in the House of Commons. “That is a problem, because in Canada we regulate pretty much everything else: food, drugs, etc. We are also concerned about vaping products getting into the hands of children.”

Gladu made her comments Dec. 3 during debate on Bill S-5, which among other things proposes changes to the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act.

“We would like to see the industry regulated,” Gladu said. “That is a part of the bill I do like.”

The e-liquids in electronic cigarattes contains neurotoxins, Swiss Re Ltd. warned in 2014 in a report, Emerging risk insights.

If e-cigarettes “are proven to be more harmful to health than presumed today, respiratory diseases or other health problems may increase and trigger liability claims similar to tobacco claims in the past,” Swiss Re said at the time.

Bill S-5 “proposes to regulate the manufacture, sale, labelling, and promotion of vaping products with and without nicotine, including vaping devices and substances such as e-liquids,” said Bill Blair, Liberal MP for Scarborough Southwest and parliamentary secretary to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, on Nov. 3, 2017.

Bill S-5 “would amend the Non-smokers’ Health Act to protect those in federally regulated workplaces from the potential harms of second-hand vapour,” Blair said Nov. 3 during debate on second reading. The Senate passed Bill S-5 June 1.

“E-cigarette parts, liquid and vapour may include variable levels of cancer-causing chemicals and harmful ingredients. These include several types of tobacco-specific nitrosamines, carbonyl compounds (e.g. aldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein), and volatile organic compounds,” wrote Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, in a 2014 report to the city’s Board of Health. “Although these chemicals exist in significantly lower levels in e-cigarettes than in conventional cigarettes, the long-term health effects of using e-cigarettes remain unknown.”

Bill S-5 was the topic of hearings in April, 2017 before the standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

“Like any other harm reduction product vaping is not completely without risk, but its placement under the Tobacco Act, no matter how well crafted, can never achieve the appropriate balance of risk versus reward,” Daniel David, chairman of the Electronic Cigarette Trade Association of Canada, told the committee. “We believe the long-term goal should be the proper classification of vaping products as a harm reduction product.”

Bill S-5 “will help us respond to the rapid increase we have seen in the popularity of vaping products,” Blair said Nov. 3, 2017.  “Evidence has suggested that these new products, while harmful, would be less harmful than traditional tobacco products, and consequently they have the potential to bring about public health benefits if they reduce tobacco-related death and disease.”

Smokers who switch to vaping products “could be a way to reduce the harm that smoking has on their health and the burden that it places upon society,” Blair added. “However, these products could also potentially lead to nicotine addiction to the use of tobacco products, and to the renormalization of smoking behaviour, reversing the gains we have made over the past 30 years.”

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6 Comments » for Vaping ‘less harmful than traditional tobacco,’ Liberal MP says
  1. Grant Hepworth says:

    I would like someone, anyone to show me Peer Reviewed Evidence that Nicotine outside of Tobacco is as Highly Addictive as these Politicians like profess?! I am quite tired of the diatribe of nonsense that comes from the mouths of those who know very little of this topic, but repeat ideology and rhetoric to stir the pot of fear and uncertainty, around something that can actually save lives, and has a track record of doing so!! If all it takes is some nonsense repeated by the uneducated to damn the lives of millions to suffer, for the sake of profits, then we have already failed.

    It is obvious the the corruption runs deep within the government; ignoring actual science to protect their gravy train of cigarette taxes, in turn condemning those looking for a safer alternative? Pharmaceutical companies also fear this product, as their NRT products are ineffective, with a failure rate of 95%, but do have a huge profit margin, something they don’t wish to give up. Unfortunately this ideology goes hand in hand with the supposed “Health Organizations” in bed with the Pharma industry, who have claimed to be “Stakeholders” in this fight, and trump up false information to fuel their dialogue.

    If you want facts go here; , but if you want to ignore them, continue to listen to those that would prefer to keep you in the dark, for the sake of their purse strings.

  2. Ken Ka says:

    “potential harms”, “OMG Carcinogens” scaring smokers away from making the switch which would vastly improve their quality of life.

    Here is the truth..

    Under normal real world conditions the amount of Volatile Organic Compounds found in vapor is lower than what is found in ambient air, the amount of Harmful or Potentially Harmful Constituents is equal to that of ambient air.

    Are they perfect? Nope but the levels of toxins found in vapor products on average 98.6% lower than those levels in cigarettes not to mention that more than 99% of the toxins including 30+ carcinogens that are found in cigarettes are NOT found in vapes.

    This article is one sided/imbalanced and very irresponsible, where is the positive aspects of vaping? All I see here is a negative attitude, I see no mention that in the short period of time that vapes have been on the market they’ve helped 25 million people globally quit smoking all without help from health groups, doctors or government/tax dollar subsidized programs or that for smokers that don’t want to or can quit there comes some serious quality of life improvements when making the switch.

    Ugg, tired of this BS.

  3. Mark Stave says:

    What an irresponsible, shoddy piece of yellow journalism. The writer has a bright future with Fox News and/or Breitbart.

    Swiss Re was wrong when it characterized nicotine as a ‘powerful neurotoxin’ (it’s as toxic as caffeine), and this writer is dishonest to toss this discredited crap into the piece.

    Editors: your job is to catch this crap before it ruins the tatters of your organization’s reputation.

  4. Marion C Burt says:

    The vaping industry is unregulated in Canada because Health Canada has done no research or investigation — in fact, has done nothing since it issued its warning letter in 2009 except periodically harass vendors with letters. In the meantime, the Canadian manufacturers and vendors have established their own code of ethics, which include no sales to minors, tested e-liquids, and a high standard of quality.
    It is now 2017. There has been a ton of international research done since then — reputable, independent research that shows no harm to bystanders and almost no harm to the vapers themselves. Across the country, ex-smokers who are now vapers report that their doctors are pleased with the improvement in their health. As for nicotine “addiction”, it is now accepted that nicotine away from tobacco combustion is roughly as addictive as caffeine. Vapers find that they reduce their nicotine levels gradually, easily and naturally and this does not happen with highly addictive substances.
    Laws should be based on current evidence, not antiquated folklore and apprehension. Every precautionary measure that makes a smoker hesitate to try vaping is a direct attack on that person’s health.

  5. Mylène says:

    It’s just as stupid as the cigarettes!! You want to quit cigarettes quit for good!! Don’t go from one addiction to another one !! !! They need to regulate it!!!!! Children teenagers … They want to try this! E cigs should not have any “FLAVOURS” FLAVOURS is the problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kids anyone who see those little bottles is intrigated by those…
    REGULATE like the cigarettes!! Anything that goes in your LUNGS!!!! IS DANGEROUS! NOT GOOD… if modified food can cause problems cancer and other health problems e juice is as worst as that…!!!!

  6. Trevor Davis says:

    Better ban breathing air in cities because that air is more toxic that what comes from an e-cig.
    Last time I looked we lived in a democratic free country, banning a substance like flavors because it may appeal to youths is about as constitutional as banning swear words because kids may hear them.

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