TORONTO, Sept. 4, 2019 /CNW/ - Vaping products should be regulated to protect youth from nicotine addiction and help adult smokers switch away from cigarettes, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. said in a submission today to Health Canada.
RBH's recommendations were submitted to Health Canada as it looks at incoming regulatory measures on the labelling and packaging of vape products.
RBH supports a number of the government proposals to protect public health and safety, including:
- New warning labels to identify that vaping is not for youth, not risk-free and contains nicotine, which is addictive;
- Nicotine levels be shown in a standardized format that allows adult smokers to make informed choices and understand the differences between products;
- Prohibiting the sale of vaping products with nicotine concentrations of 66 mg/mL or more;
- Vaping substances to include a list of ingredients on their packaging for standardization and safety; and
- Toxicity warnings and child-resistant packaging for certain vaping products.
To that end, RBH proposed two specific changes to the regulation of vape products:
- Modify proposed health warnings to state that vaping products contain nicotine and are addictive, are not risk-free but are a better alternative than continuing to smoke; and
- Define tobacco vaporizers as vaping products to regulate them appropriately.
RBH's recommendations would allow Health Canada to extend its approach to reducing the health risks of nicotine consumption by continuing to let adult smokers know vaping products are a better alternative than continuing to smoke.
Health Canada recognizes that vaping products deliver nicotine in a much less harmful way than smoking cigarettes. In a statement released on May 31, 2019 the agency said "while vaping products are not intended for non-smokers or young people, smokers who switch completely from cigarettes to vaping products significantly reduce their exposure to dozens of powerful toxins and carcinogens found in cigarette smoke." Vaping product warnings and labels should reflect this reality.
In fact, RBH believes these regulations should be extended and harmonized for other vaping devices heated by a battery, including those that heat (but never burn) tobacco.
Health Canada has set a target to reduce smoking rates to five per cent by the year 2035. RBH believes that with the right technologies and policies this target can be achieved faster.
QUOTES: Peter Luongo, Managing Director, RBH
- We support the government's goal of curbing youth vaping to help the next generation set Canada on a path to be smoke-free.
- Vaping products are for adult smokers and the packaging and labelling should reflect that fact.
- Parents are concerned about vaping. As kids head back to school, Canadians should be aware of the risks.
- Health warnings need to communicate effectively the risks of vaping products for non-smokers and youth.
- We want to Unsmoke Canada. For change like this to happen we need policy makers, consumers and society in general to all play a role.
- The core message of Unsmoke is: if you don't smoke, don't start. If you smoke, quit. If you don't quit, change.
- The best choice for any Canadian is to never start smoking or vaping, or to quit entirely.
- It's time for a change. Innovation has led to better alternatives for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke cigarettes.
- Government rules and regulations should encourage current adult smokers to switch away from cigarettes.
A complete copy of RBH's submission to Health Canada is available upon request.
About Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc.
Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc., an affiliate of Philip Morris International Inc., is one of Canada's leading tobacco companies and employs nearly 800 people across the country with its headquarters in Toronto and a factory in Québec City. RBH is a certified Top Employer 2019 in Canada for excellence in employee conditions. For more information, visit www.rbhinc.ca and www.unsmoke.ca
SOURCE Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc.