Health Canada's letter to vaping and retail associations
December 19, 2019
Dear Madam, Sir,
As follow-up to the letter sent to vaping product retailers in June, I am writing to remind associations and retailers of their responsibilities under the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA) and the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA). I have also written to manufacturers and importers of vaping products to ask them to do their part to take immediate action to remove any vaping product promotions that could be seen by young persons, including online content.
Health Canada is very concerned with the mounting evidence suggesting a marked increase in youth uptake of vaping and with the emergence of cases of vaping-associated lung illness in the United States and more recently in Canada. Vaping may lead to nicotine addiction and other related harms. Youth are especially susceptible to the negative effects of nicotine, as it is known to alter brain development and to affect memory and concentration.
To protect youth, Health Canada has increased its compliance and enforcement efforts respecting the vaping industry and will continue to do so. Compliance monitoring and inspections conducted since July 2019 are demonstrating a high level of observed non-compliance at specialty vaping establishments. Of the specialty vaping establishments inspected during this period, more than eighty percent were found to be selling and promoting products in violation of the following prohibitions under the TVPA:
- Promotion of vaping products through testimonials or endorsements
- Promotion of vaping product flavours appealing to young persons
Health Canada also seized more than 80,000 units of non-compliant product and observed non-compliance with provisions of the CCPSA. This level of non-compliance is unacceptable.
Health Canada will continue to vigorously enforce all applicable legislative and regulatory requirements and will use all available enforcement measures to address and resolve non-compliance with the Acts. The offences and punishments for contraventions to the prohibitions referenced in this letter, and others, are set out in the Acts. In addition, Health Canada will publish inspection results online, including the names of businesses that were found to be non-compliant at the time of inspection with the requirements of the TVPA and/or CCPSA.
You will be invited to a meeting to discuss the findings of our inspections. I look forward to hearing about the measures you plan to take as an association and with your members to stop the continued, widespread non-compliance in the vaping market, in particular that targeted at youth.
Should you have any questions or require additional information, please contact the undersigned at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director General, Consumer Products and Controlled Substances Directorate
Regulatory Operations and Enforcement Branch
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