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Saturday, 30 April 2011

E-CIGARETTES - LETTER TO HEALTH CANADA RE A RECENT FDA DECISION

** Note ** July 22, 2011 - See reply to our letter at http://cagecanada.blogspot.com/2011/07/playing-with-words-health-canadas-reply.html

April 30, 2011

Ms. Diana Dowthwaite
Director General Health Products and Food Branch Inspectorate
Health Canada
Address Locator: 2003C
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9


Dear Ms. Dowthwaite,

In the U.S.A., the recent FDA decision to not regulate electronic cigarettes as therapeutic or medical devices brings us once again to request that Health Canada reconsiders their controversial stand on banning the import and marketing of electronic nicotine delivery devices commonly known as e-cigarettes.
The last letter we received from you on this matter in October 2009, advised us that electronic smoking products are subject to the Food and Drugs Act whether or not they are associated with a smoking cessation claim. 

The Food and Drug Act clearly defines a ‘’drug’’ to include any substance or mixture of substances manufactured, sold or represented for use in

(a) the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder or abnormal physical state, or its symptoms, in human beings or animals,
(b) restoring, correcting or modifying organic functions in human beings or animals…’’


It defines ‘’devices’’ as  ‘’any article, instrument, apparatus or contrivance, including any component, part or accessory thereof, manufactured, sold or represented for use in

(a) the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder or abnormal physical state, or its symptoms, in human beings or animals,
(b) restoring, correcting or modifying a body function or the body structure of human beings or animals…’’


These are almost word for word the same definitions given to drugs and devices in the U.S.A. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
After careful consideration, the FDA reached the decision to abide by a Court of Appeal ruling and agreed to not categorize e-cigarettes as medical or therapeutic devices providing that they are not marketed as such either explicitly or implicitly.  

The logic followed by the Court of Appeal and finally accepted by the FDA is precisely what we argued in our July 27, 2009 letter to Health Canada. We are relieved to see that our vain efforts to get Health Canada to reconsider their intransigent position, was neither unreasonable nor incoherent since the FDA now also sees it our way.

The FDA is making a commitment  to work with stakeholders in an effort to ‘’best protect and promote the public health’’.   We feel that it is with the same resolve that Health Canada should consider its outright and unjustified ban on electronic nicotine delivery devices. 

Trusting that Health Canada will do the right thing,  we remain,

Yours Truly,

Iro Cyr
Vice-President 

C.A.G.E. Canada

Read past correspondence with Health Canada on this issue:

Read FDA decision: 

 

38 comments:

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DDLP said...

Thanks C.A.G.E. I applaud your efforts, this ban is clearly ludicrous, and deceitful in that the health of Canadian citizens is clearly not the main reason for it. If even the U.S. - a country arguably more influenced by corporations, be it pharmaceutical, tobacco or otherwise - can accept e-cigarettes, we certainly should. That's not to say we should just follow our neighbours blindly, but as you've noted, various studies from around the world have shown e-cigarettes to be non-hazardous. It is OBVIOUS that they are not nearly as harmful as cigarettes themselves. We can't stand for this hypocrisy, nor this ignorance, nor this usurping of our freedom of choice.

C.A.G.E. said...

Thank you DDLP. Our members and readers can also do their part and put pressure on Health Canada through writing letters to them or even phoning them.

We haven't received a reply from Health Canada on this latest letter, but if we judge from the last time, it can take months before we do.

Remaining hopeful,
Iro Cyr

Anonymous said...

As a canadian living in the USA who just got mine in the mail today and hasn't smoked a real cigarette since the batteries charged... i'm hopeful..
Keep up the good work please! When my job here finishes and I come home, I'm going to want to be able to keep this up, and eventually ween myself off I hope..
it certainly seems like an easier way to quit. The arguments against it are just ridiculous.

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Why have I not heard of this organization before. I have been in contact with HC. I am so glad that I found you. Have you found out if anyone has obtained Market authorization in Canada to sell electronic Cigarettes? Thank you for what you do! I need to keep up with your efforts. Thanks again!

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