Myth vs Fact on Electronic Cigarettes (in Canada) April 4, 2014 11:44

From "What Does The Law Say" website:

There are many myths about electronic cigarettes in Canada flying around, from different corners – and if you’ve spent any time on our website, you know that we go into a lot of detail to clear up these myths. But pointing to reams of research in a conversational setting is not very useful – in a conversation, you need to have the answers on hand.

So we thought a “myth vs fact” quick sheet would be a good idea.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This page is not intended to replace in-depth research into what the law says; after all, a correct answer is only as good as one’s ability to back it up with facts and compelling evidence. We cannot encourage you strongly enough to explore this website – and to test what we’re saying by doing your own research. Truth can withstand scrutiny – and only through scrutiny can we discover the truth.



MYTH : E-cigarette products in Canada are unregulated.

FACT : E-cigarette products in Canada are regulated, but the government of Canada is not recognizing or enforcing the applicable regulations.

E-cigarette hardware items (batteries, cartridges, USB chargers, plastic or metal tubes, electronic merchandise etc) are regulated under certification standards in numerous industries as consumer products. E-juice with nicotine is regulated under the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations, 2001.pdf since it meets the legal definition of a consumer chemical product.



MYTH : The laws of Canada are not applicable, unless the government conspicuously says they are.

FACT : Regardless of what the government says or does not say, the law itself speaks truthfully and clearly. The laws of Canada are always applicable – and ignorance or defiance of the law (be it found in the government, or in an e-cigarette business) does not change this.



MYTH : E-cigarette products with nicotine are illegal in Canada.

FACT : There is no law stating that e-cigarette products with or without nicotine are illegal in Canada. These products are legal, regulated, consumer alternatives to smoking – and are legally sold, bought, owned and used as such in Canada.



MYTH : Canadian law on e-cigarettes and nicotine is a “grey area.”

FACT : Canadian law on e-cigarettes and nicotine is not “grey” at all. The law is exceedingly clear. Only liars with an agenda, or people who are confused because they have not adequately researched the law, mistakenly claim that the law is a “grey area.”

Confusion on this matter is easily traced back to Health Canada – which states that e-cigarette products with nicotine remain unauthorized as smoking-cessation medicines (“drugs”). But since e-cigarette products with nicotine are not medicines (provided they do not claim to be such), a lack of authorization as a medicine is not a valid criticism. Coffee, despite containing an addictive substance, is not authorized as a medicine either – because it isn’t one and doesn’t claim to be one. It is regulated as a consumer beverage, and sold as such.

See the first two myths again on this page, as well as section 6 subsection 3 of our Testing page (“The Proof Is In The Pudding”) for more.



MYTH : E-cigarettes are a smoking-cessation medicine.

FACT : E-cigarettes are not a “quit smoking” product. They allow users to continue their habit, but in a vastly safer way.

In the absence of medicinal claims and/or medicinal function, e-cigarettes do not meet the legal definition of a medicine (a “drug”). E-cigs do not claim to be medicines, or scientifically function as medicines either – facts which several EU courts have already attested to in conclusive rulings. See topic #3 Modifying Organic Functions? for more.

E-cigarettes are a legal, safer, recreational consumer alternative to smoking – the hardware being a consumer product, and the liquid being a consumer chemical product (see myth #1 on this page). Users are not seeking medical treatment in an electronic cigarette. What they’re seeking is a safer means than deadly burning tobacco smoke with which to continue enjoying their habit.



MYTH : Flavours in e-cigarettes are unnecessary.

FACT : Flavours play a key role in discouraging e-cigarette users from returning to smoking – because users quickly realize that, comparatively, cigarette smoke tastes disgusting. Hence the wide variety of appealing flavours available in e-cigarettes is a very good thing. Without flavours, switching from smoking to using e-cigarettes would be much less appealing – and many current users fear they would return to smoking if flavours were prohibited.

Flavours in e-cigarettes are a deterrent to smoking – not a gateway to it. See this infographic for more.



MYTH : E-cigarette flavours are designed to entice children.

FACT : Numerous sources show that globally, the vast majority of e-cigarette users are adult smokers who desire a safer consumer alternative to smoking – and adults happen to like flavours.

Opponents point to experimentation (those who have ever tried a puff, for example) amongst teens. Yet what of long-term, frequent use? To date, despite having been available for more than half a dozen years in countless flavours, there is no credible evidence that children anywhere are being “enticed” by e-cigarettes or e-cigarette flavours.

A recent CDC survey revealed that less than 3% of high school youth were “currently” using e-cigarettes (i.e. any use within the last 30 days) – and the vast majority of that tiny number were already smokers.



MYTH : E-cigarette companies are targeting children as a customer base.

FACT : Responsible, credible members of the electronic cigarette industry voluntarily refrain from selling to children under the legal smoking age – and strongly support a legal age limit for the purchase and use of e-cigarette products.



MYTH : E-cigarettes are a “gateway” product leading non-smokers to smoke real cigarettes.

FACT : There is simply no credible evidence to so much as suggest (much less prove) that non-smokers anywhere are taking up e-cigarette usage and then transitioning to smoking real cigarettes – or that they ever will.

The failure to demonstrate a “gateway” effect is easily explained. Why would anyone who is using an affordable, pleasantly-flavoured e-cigarette which is not killing them suddenly decide to switch to more expensive, horrible-tasting real cigarettes which will kill them?



MYTH : We really don’t know what’s in the liquid.

FACT : This is only true if an e-cigarette business does not regularly test their e-juices through an accredited laboratory for accuracy and contamination. If a business does regularly test their e-juices as described above, then we do know what’s in that liquid.

Responsible practice demands that e-juice ingredients be listed on the label as well – but regular testing through an accredited laboratory lets us indisputably know what’s in the liquid.



MYTH : E-cigarette vapour is dangerous to users and those around them.

FACT : To date, there is no credible evidence to demonstrate that e-cigarette vapour is any more harmful to a user than typical caffeine consumption is. But there is an increasing body of credible evidence showing that e-cigarette vapour poses virtually no risk to users or bystanders. In fact, many decades of studies (inhalation studies amongst them) on the simple ingredients in e-juice have failed to reveal cause for concern.

The assertion that e-cigarette vapour is dangerous to users or those around them is simply not supported by credible scientific evidence – whereas credible scientific evidence showing that e-cigarette vapour poses virtually no risk (especially when compared to smoking) continues to grow.



MYTH : E-cigarettes should be subject to the same restrictions as real cigarettes.

FACT : E-cigarettes cannot lawfully be subjected to treatment as something that they’re not. E-cigs are not tobacco cigarettes, and do not contain any tobacco. Vapourized e-juice is not burning tobacco smoke, or smoke of any kind.

Nicotine-containing products to which the Food and Drugs Act applies (like e-juice, which the Food and Drug Regulations subsequently exempt in the PDL.pdf) are explicitly exempted from tobacco classification by the Tobacco Act 9.pdf. So there is no legal basis in Canada – let alone a scientific or moral basis – for treating these tobacco-free consumer products / consumer chemical products as tobacco products.



MYTH : E-cigarettes must be bad, since many anti-smoking groups oppose them.

FACT : The tobacco control industry (and it is an industry) has over the years become a very lucrative gravy train, well-funded by big pharma. If vast numbers of Canadian smokers switch to electronic cigarettes and no longer smoke, anti-smoking groups will soon have no further reason to exist. They are no more eager than Health Canada is to see smokers voluntarily switch in droves to an attractive, non-lethal consumer alternative to smoking.

Anti-smoking groups that oppose e-cigarettes do so due to their own financial self-interests, rather than legitimate health concerns.



MYTH : We should contact politicians to demand an end to the ban on e-cigarettes and nicotine.

FACT : There is no ban. Those opposed to vaping want Canadians to believe that a ban exists (since this belief discourages smokers from switching to e-cigarettes, and works to prevent applicable regulations from being recognized and enforced). But there is no ban. Writing to a politician with a request to end a non-existent ban is ridiculous.

Writing to a politician to express a concern that the government of Canada is not recognizing or enforcing the laws and regulations applicable to electronic cigarette products – and is in fact lying about which laws and regulations do apply – would make much more sense.


This article was copied and pasted in its entirety from Used with permission.

Blog page posted by Ronna Penner of The Village Vaporette.