Friday, 22 July 2011


Here is Health Canada’s reply to our latest appeal to them to reconsider their stand on electronic cigarettes. 

Health Products and Food Branch 
Graham Spry Building, 3rd Floor
250 Lanark Avenue
Address Locator #2003C
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

July 11, 2011

Thank you for your correspondence dated April 30, 2011 and your request that Health Canada reconsiders its controversial stand on banning the import and marketing of electronic nicotine delivery devices commonly known as e-cigarettes.  We apologize for the delay in our response. 
The recent U.S. FDA announcement about its intent to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products when not associated with therapeutic claims will not change the regulation of electronic cigarette products in Canada.  Analysis of the US decision indicate that it is based on very different wording found in the United States Tobacco Act compared to the Canadian Tobacco Act.

Electronic cigarettes will continue to fall within the scope of the Food and Drugs Act because they deliver nicotine, a drug, to a consumer.  All other nicotine containing products, other than naturally sourced nicotine in cigarettes, cigars, etc, have been assessed under the Food and Drug Regulations.  Currently since all approved nicotine products are now non-prescription drugs they fall under the Natural Health Products Regulations.   However, nicotine intended for an electronic cigarette is not exempted from prescription status.  Accordingly, market authorization must be granted by Health Canada prior to the importation and sale of these products in Canada.  In this regard, Health Canada’s approach is in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation. 

Yours Truly,
Diana Dowthwaite
Director General 

It is quite clear that according to Health Canada the health of an individual is at the mercy of ‘’different wording’’ and ‘’different acts’’ and that all that matters is that a substance contained in a product occurs naturally as opposed to being extracted from the plant and added to a delivery device.   Little does it matter to Health Canada that that is precisely the process the pharmaceutical industry uses to manufacture different nicotine delivery devices such as inhalers, patches, gums and lozenges and it matters even less to them that the tobacco industry has been (rightly or wrongly) under attack for years for free-basing nicotine to give it a more potent ‘’hit’’ and that there is nothing ‘’natural’’ about that process.  Irrelevant to them that thousands if not millions of smokers throughout the world who wanted to quit have successfully managed to do so with a device that has so far not only proven to be many times more effective than pharmaceutical overpriced nicotine replacement therapy but that has also no documented case of harm since its approximately 7-year existence. 

Dear fellow citizens, the next time your father, aunt, uncle, or grandmother complain that smoking conventional cigarettes worsens their emphysema symptoms yet they find it impossible to renew their supply of nicotine for their e-cigarette because Health Canada does not approve of harm reduction, please set them straight immediately and stress to them that ‘’emphysema’’ is now called COPD and that wording is of utmost importance when one wants to improve their health.    


westcoast2 said...

The wording is very similar to that used in the UK and EU.

Have you spoken with anyone from ECITA about this? ECITA

In the UK the MHRA attempted to have e-cigs medicalised and failed though they may try again is directly or via the EU.

This is part of the reason ECCA(UK and Ireland) is being formed ECCA


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

Hi Westcoast,
I will take a close look at your links and see if there is anything we can exchange with them. You must however remember that CAGE is only acting on behalf of citizens and has no vested interests in this issue as opposed to e-cigarette manufacturers and distributors. I have spoken with some vapor community members and e-cigarette dealers and we seem to disagree on a few different points. We do agree on one important point however which is that Health Canada is not acting in the best interests of its citizens and that they should be ashamed for that.
I believe that the bigger e-cigarette manufacturers should challenge Health Canada in a court of law just like it was done with the FDA. Unfortunately, I doubt that any of them will find the interest to engage in such a costly and lengthy battle for the small market that Canada represents. It's all about the money!

Anonymous said...

While Canada may not have the 375 million potential customers that U.S. has, it is the market size of the State of California. There are few companies who would say, "Not market in California? Pfft. That piddly little place?"

It is obvious to anyone who reads the Act and the Regs that nicotine is not a "new drug" and an atomizer is not a medical device.

This is bulls**t pure and simple. Health Canada has been given its marching orders from the politicians, who are in the back-pockets of the tobacco and pharmaceutical companies.

Having said that, thank you C.A.G.E. for trying on behalf of us poor common ordinary citizens to try to budge Health Canada, a department of Monolith Corp., Ottawa Branch.

Anonymous said...

"Currently since all approved nicotine products are now non-prescription drugs they fall under the Natural Health Products Regulations. However, nicotine intended for an electronic cigarette is not exempted from prescription status. "

That statement itself shows how stupid H.C is... they say since current nicotine products (like the patch and gum) fall under Natural Healh Products Regulations... yes the nicotine for an e-cigarette is not expempt? How does that make ANY sense.. are the nic gums and patches and inhailers NOT using pharmacutical grade nicotine the same as the e-cigarette?

Health Canada is a corrupt orginization, and has been for decades. They bend over backwards to make specific industries, lobbyests and interest groups happy when it comes to money and tax. Look at all the *BS* they are involved with with the sale of asbestos to the phillipines and you will see how corrupt they are.

James said...

@westcoast2, the MHRA looked pretty much poised to ban ecigs before the election. My info was that the new gov put a break on the legislation.

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