Health Canada and JUUL Labs Canada Inc. meeting: Latest Developments – December 1, 2020

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Subject:

JUUL's latest developments

Date:

December 1, 2020

Participants:

Health Canada (HC)

JUUL Labs Canada Inc. (JUUL):

Introduction:

A meeting was held at the request of JUUL to discuss to discuss various topics related to the regulation of vaping products.

The Chair opened the meeting with round table introductions.

The Chair reminded participants that this meeting is subject to disclosure as per HC's Openness and Transparency policies. In the interest of transparency, the Department stated that it would be making a record of the meeting publicly available. The handling of information and privacy notice was mentioned and acknowledged.

HC also referred to Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, its international obligation to protect tobacco control policies from the vested interests of the tobacco industry. It was acknowledged by JUUL representatives.

Subjects:

Marketing Plan (Targeting Adult Smokers Online)

JUUL provided an overview of their plan to target adult smokers online, and to restrict advertisements to places that cannot be seen or heard by youth. JUUL discussed their new age-verification system that requires self-identification.

HC asked JUUL how effective this new approach has been thus far and if JUUL has been able to monitor/evaluate the new system. JUUL indicated that the new system will be implemented in early 2021 and that they would be able to share results next year.

Sales Data for Combustible Cigarettes

JUUL presented sales data for combustible cigarettes. They felt that the COVID-19 pandemic as well as vaping flavours regulations in certain provinces had significantly influenced increases in cigarette sales in spring/summer 2020.

HC pointed to a disruption of contraband production during the pandemic as a likely reason for increased cigarette sales and noted the importance of industry-reported wholesale data and population health surveys to understand sales and prevalence trends.

Harm Perception Analysis / Relative Risk Statements

JUUL presented their analysis of data from the most recent Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey (CTNS) and the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS) to compare harm perception scores between adult smokers. JUUL stressed the importance of relative risk statements and suggested that HC look into implementing them to better inform adult smokers.

HC cautioned against directly comparing the findings of the two surveys and indicated that news and data related to vaping-associated lung illness may have affected the responses. JUUL asked HC if a determination on the causes of vaping-associated lung illness has been made or if there are plans to do so. HC responded that as of yet there has not been a statement released regarding the issue, but that they continue to work with the Public Health Agency of Canada to monitor the situation.

JUUL Sales Data

JUUL provided an update on their sales data. HC had questions regarding the data and JUUL indicated that they would follow up with HC to provide more details in that regard.

New Product Registry into the Market

JUUL indicated they are concerned with the availability of disposable vaping products in the Canadian market. As most of these products are sold in vape shops, JUUL suggested that HC as the national regulator of vaping products develop a tracking mechanism. Specifically, JUUL suggested that HC develop a products registry so that importers have to register and pay a nominal user fee.

Product innovations

JUUL indicated that they might pilot new products to be introduced into the Canadian market in 2021. JUUL committed to providing HC advance notice should there be any new products.

Conclusion:

The meeting was then concluded.

Documents:

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