Health Canada and Convenience Industry Council in Canada meeting: Tobacco Products Plain and Standardized Packaging – March 28, 2019
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Vaping Notice of Intent and Tobacco Products Plain and Standardized Packaging
March 28, 2019
Health Canada (HC)
- James Van Loon
- Director General, Tobacco Control Directorate (TCD) (Chair)
- Dana Beaton
- Director, Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, TCD
- Manager, Compliance and Enforcement, TCD
- (via teleconference)
- Tobacco and Vaping Compliance and Enforcement Program (TVCEP) (West) (Regulatory Operations and Enforcement Branch)
- A/Manager, Regulations Division, Tobacco Products Regulation Office (TPRO),TCD
- Senior Policy Analyst, Regulations Division, TPRO, TCD
- A/Policy Analyst, TPRO, TCD
Convenience Industry Council in Canada (CICC)
- Anne P. Kothawala
- President & Chief Executive Officer
A meeting was held at the request of CCIC to:
- Provide an update on the CICC’s Responsible Retailing Program;
- Discuss proposals regarding Notice of Intent (NOI): Potential measures to reduce the impact of vaping products advertising on youth and non-users of tobacco products;
- Discuss next steps on plain and standardized packaging.
The Chair opened the meeting by doing 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.
The CICC, as a new association, provided an overview of its structure which brings together retailers, distributors and manufacturers that sell a variety of products in convenience stores across the country.
The CCIC reiterated its concerns from the September 4, 2018 meeting surrounding the transitional period for plain and standardized packaging as well as the wording of subsection 77(2).
The Chair indicated that changes to the final regulations would be made based on the comments received.
The CCIC also discussed its submission in response to the NOI – Potential Measures to Reduce the Impact of Vaping Products Advertising on Youth and Non-users of Tobacco Products.
The CCIC summarized fundamental points in its submission, namely that it is fully supportive of the initiative and that it believes that the CCIC should and can play a useful role in getting smokers to transition away from tobacco given that convenience stores are a major channel for legal tobacco sales.
The CCIC indicated that there is no data to suggest that convenience stores are the primary source for the increase in youth vaping. It attributed this increase to online purchasing.
The CCIC mentioned that advertising restrictions laid out in the notice of intent will put its stores at a competitive disadvantage and prevents retailers from being able to service adult tobacco users who wish to transition to vaping products. CCIC indicated its desire to participate in the market as a solution to help smokers transition and not to build brand loyalty.
The CCIC discussed its new responsible retailing program which educates members and their staff about the legal requirements of asking for identification in the purchase of all age-restricted products.
CCIC also indicated its concern that there was an overlap of federal and provincial responsibilities related to compliance and enforcement. It offered to answer any questions or poll members.
CCIC concluded that convenience stores are a safe, tested outlet for retailing age-restricted products, and by allowing retailers to communicate with adult customers on reduced-risk products it could support individuals’ transition toward reduced-risk vape products. As such, it has asked HC to revisit wording around limiting advertisements specifically at points of sale.
The meeting was then concluded.
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