In an effort to better protect kids from the dangers of vaping, the federal government is planning to significantly reduce the amount of nicotine allowed in vapour products.
As it stands now, vape products can have up to 66 milligrams of nicotine per millilitre (mg/ml).
Health Canada is proposing a new cap of 20 mg/ml.
Anything that exceeds that amount would be against the law in Canada, under the proposed regulations.
Starting Saturday, the feds are opening up a 75-day public consultation period, where you can submit your thoughts about the proposed changes.
The government is also looking at a blanket ban of any flavoured vaping products. Another option would be to force vape producers to put forward more public information, including ingredients, research and the development process.
The Canadian Cancer Society applauded the move, saying stricter regulations are needed to protect kids. They note rapidly growing numbers of youths who have taken up vaping.
“High nicotine levels have contributed to a new generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine through e-cigarettes,” says Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society.
The organization is calling on the government to enact even stricter measures, such as an increased tax on all vaping products.
However, on the other side of things, several industry associations aren’t pleased.
Cigarette manufacturer Imperial Tobacco says the proposed changes “miss the mark.” They believe a lower nicotine content will do nothing to deter kids from vaping.
Instead, Imperial Tobacco says it would impact legal adult smokers, who would be less inclined to switch to vaping, which the company calls a “safer alternative.”
“It could be debated whether or not the current cap of 66 mg/ml is appropriate,” explained a statement from the company. “However, the proposed 20 mg/ml is too low and will not satisfy a portion of current Canadian vapers nor smokers seeking a less harmful alternative. ”
“It is hard to understand why the government would enact a policy measure knowing full well it will drive up the number of smokers in Canada,” the statement concludes.
Predictably, the Vaping Industry Trade Association (VITA) took a similar position.
They point to Nova Scotia, who enacted a similar law in the spring. When nicotine levels were capped at 20 mg/ml in the Atlantic province, cigarette sales jumped by over 25 per cent.
They also note the possibility of an economic fallout from such a change. In Nova Scotia, VITA says half of all specialty vape stores closed following the changes, putting hundreds of people out of work during the pandemic.
Click here to tell the government about your thoughts or experiences. Comments will be accepted until March 4.