Resolution 2014.02 Electronic Cigarettes

August 15, 2014

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2014.02 Electronic Cigarettes

Whereas, Health Canada currently does not fully regulate the contents, marketing, sale and use of all types of electronic cigarettes available in Canada; and

Whereas, Electronic cigarettes without nicotine contain volatile organic substances, some of which are emitted and may be inhaled by non-users; and

Whereas, Electronic smoking products containing nicotine, which can include electronic cigarettes, cannot legally be imported, marketed or sold in Canada; therefore, be it

Resolved, That national council of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada, in 94th annual national convention assembled, urge the federal government to:

  • fully regulate the contents of electronic cigarettes sold in Canada
  • fully regulate the marketing, sale and use of electronic cigarettes
  • enforce consumer safety standards for electronic cigarettes, and
  • implement a national educational campaign warning Canadians of the risks of smoking electronic cigarettes; and, be it further

Resolved, That national council of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada, in 94th annual national convention assembled, encourage provincial councils to become aware of the issue of electronic cigarettes as it pertains to their province/territory, and to act on it, as deemed necessary.

BRIEF:          Electronic Cigarettes

“Electronic cigarettes or ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) are devices whose function is to vaporize and deliver to the lungs of the user a chemical mixture typically composed of nicotine, propylene glycol and other chemicals, although some products claim to contain no nicotine” (World Health Organization). “The ‘illusive safety’ of ENDS can be enticing to consumers; however, the chemicals used in electronic cigarettes have not been fully disclosed, and there are no adequate data on their emissions” (ibid). “Until such time as a given ENDS is deemed safe and effective and of acceptable quality by a competent national regulatory body, consumers should be strongly advised not to use any of these products, including electronic cigarettes” (ibid). Health Canada currently does not fully regulate the contents, marketing, sale and use of all types of electronic cigarettes available in Canada. Since 2009, Canadians have been advised “not to purchase or use electronic smoking products, as these products may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy by Health Canada” (Health Canada, 08 Feb, 2014).

Electronic smoking products containing nicotine, which can include electronic cigarettes, cannot legally be imported, marketed or sold in Canada. “These products come as electronic cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos and pipes, as well as cartridges of nicotine solutions and related products. These products fall within the scope of the Food and Drugs Act, and under the Act, require market authorization before they can be imported, advertised or sold. The sale of these health products is currently not compliant with the Food and Drugs Act since no electronic smoking products have been granted a market authorization in Canada” (ibid; Government of Canada). However, nicotine for e-cigarettes can be purchased in the United States or ordered over the Internet (Branswell). “Even though Canadian regulations prohibit the sale, import or advertising of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, they are surreptitiously crossing our border” (Stanbrook).

“Electronic cigarette products without nicotine and without health claims can legally be imported and sold in Canada, provided they meet the general safety requirements of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. However, Health Canada advises Canadians not to purchase or use electronic cigarettes as these products may pose health risks” (Health Canada, 05 Mar. 2014).

The smoking of electronic cigarettes is currently occurring in smoke-free designated public areas. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory #2013-015 warns that electronic cigarettes are not emission-free, contain volatile organic substances, contain substances that may be inhaled by non-users, and may lead to adverse health effects through second-hand exposure.

In light of this information electronic cigarettes are potentially hazardous to users and victims of the resulting second-hand vapours.

 

Works Cited

  1. Branswell, H.  (08 Feb. 2014). “E-cigarettes Could Hook a New Generation on Nicotine, Experts Warn.” Health and Fitness. The Globe and Mail. Web. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/e-cigarettes-could-hook-a-new-generation-on-nicotine-experts-warn/article14740075/
  2. Health Canada. (08 Feb. 2014). “Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS) Summary of Annual Results for 2012.” Health Canada. Web. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/research-recherche/stat/_ctums-esutc_2012/ann_summary-sommaire-eng.php
  3. Health Canada. (05 Mar. 2014). “Did You Know?” Health Canada. Web. http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/health-sante/tobacco-tabac/addiction-dependance-eng.php
  4. Center for Disease Control (CDC). (05 Mar. 2014). “Electronic Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students.” Center for Disease Control.  Web. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6235a6.htm
  5. Federal Drug Administration (FDA). (Web. 06 Feb. 2014). “FDA Advisory No. 2013-015: Secondary Exposure to E-cigarette Emission Might be Harmful to Health.”  Federal Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov.ph/advisories/food/80233-fda-advisory-no-2013-015
  6. Health Canada. (08 Feb. 2014). “Health Canada Advises Canadians Not to Use Electronic Cigarettes.” Health Canada. http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2009/13373a-eng.php
  7. World Health Organization (WHO). (05 Mar. 2014). “Questions and answers on electronic cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).” World Health Organization..http://www.who.int/tobacco/communications/statements/eletronic_cigarettes/en/
  8. Stanbrook, M.  (06 Feb. 2014). “Regulate E-Cigarettes as Drug-Delivery Devices.” Canadian Medical Association Journal.  CMAJ. http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2013/10/07/cmaj.131469
  9. Weiczner, J. (06 Feb. 2014).  “10 Things E-Cigarettes Won’t Tell You.” 10 Nov. 2013. Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304448204579184052293918312
  10. Government of Canada. (02 July. 2014). Food and Drug Act. Devices. Retrieved from http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/F-27/page-5.html#h-8

Action Plan

  1. Write to the prime minister, minister of health and local members of parliament, urging them to act on the requests in the first resolved clause.
  2. Write to the provincial and territorial governments urging them to ban the smoking of electronic smoking products in public places.
  3. Educate members about the potential risks of electronic cigarettes.
  4. Monitor the governments’ responses to the requests contained in the resolution.