When it comes to vaping and smoking cigarettes, the rules and regulations are pretty strict. Now, even stricter rules are coming to the smoking scene across the country.
More specifically, Bill S-5 is set to regulate vaping products and create plain and standardized packaging for tobacco products across the board.
The Bill recently passed through Parliament and received royal assent.
What changes are on their way?
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Well, many tobacco regulations will soon apply to vaping – aka. e-cigarettes – too, ban certain flavours of vape liquid, and revamp cigarette packaging entirely.
While many cigarette packages already come with their share of warnings, the packaging is set to become more plain, similar to the plans for marijuana packaging.
Here are some of the new packaging rules, courtesy of the Canadian Cancer Society:
- Prohibiting brand colours, graphics and logos on packages, and requiring a drab brown colour to appear as the base colour for all brands; brand names can still appear on packages, but in a standard way for all brands; health warnings will remain on tobacco packages
- Banning slim and superslim cigarettes, as well as stylish “purse packs” appealing to young women and girls
- Banning cigarettes longer than 85 mm, meaning that “glamorous” 100 mm cigarettes will be banned
- Requiring cigarette packages to be in a standardized slide and shell format, thus increasing warning size and effectiveness; special package formats will no longer be able to appear
- Requiring the largest health warnings on cigarette packages in the world in terms of surface area
- Prohibiting branding and other promotions on the cigarette itself, and requiring cigarettes to have a flat end without holes or recesses
“Research has shown that measures such as the removal of logos, textures, colours and brand images help make tobacco products less attractive and therefore less appealing, particularly to youth,” reads a recent release from Health Canada.
And while the federal government is doing its fair share to allow adults to access vaping as a “less harmful alternative to cigarettes,” it is also doing a lot to make vaping less attractive.
E-cigarettes still contain nicotine, after all.
First, the feds have banned the sale of vaping products to those under 18 years of age.
Bill S-5 also allows the feds to implement child-resistant packaging for vaping liquids with nicotine, to help protect children from nicotine poisoning.
And if you’re into candy-like flavours of vaping liquids, you can soon say goodbye to those.
“The Bill prohibits the promotion of vaping products that are appealing to youth, such as products with appealing flavours like dessert or confectionery flavours,” reads the release from Health Canada.
“It also restricts the promotion of vaping products, including a ban on all lifestyle advertising. Other forms of promotion, such as sponsorships and celebrity endorsements, are also restricted.”
Health Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society agree that these new regulations might save a lot of lives.
“This important legislation is the next step in the Government’s efforts to protect young Canadians from nicotine addiction and tobacco use,” said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, in the release.
“We’re taking a principled and flexible approach to reducing the harms of tobacco use by protecting youth and non-users of tobacco products from nicotine addiction and inducements to use tobacco. We’re also placing restrictions on the promotion of vaping products while allowing adults to legally access them as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes, and advancing work to introduce plain and standardized packaging for tobacco products.”
According to the feds, the vast majority of smokers begin by adolescence or young adulthood.
In fact, here in Canada, 82 per cent of current adult daily smokers had smoked their first cigarette by the age of 18. And in 2015 alone, 115,000 Canadians began smoking cigarettes daily.
And more people are vaping – according to Health Canada, 13 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and up (3.9 million) had tried an e-cigarette, an increase from the 9 per cent (or 2.5 million) reported in 2013, and one in four youth (26 per cent) aged 15 to 19 had tried an e-cigarette, up from 20 per cent in 2013.
What do you think of the new rules?