A recent four-month study in Canada has shown that vaping is not the gateway to smoking tobacco it has been purported to be. From July to October 2015, teenagers aged 15 to 17 were asked to attempt to buy e-cigarettes and/or paraphernalia at more than 4,000 convenience stores, gas stations and vape shops across Canada. The results were illuminating. The majority of establishments (66.5%) refused to sell the teens e-cigarettes without proof of legal age.
Health Canada weighs in on vaping
Jane Philpott, Canada’s Health Minister, said “Our government’s plan to legalize and regulate marijuana will also include provisions to limit access to ecigarettes. Studies that can show effective means of limiting access of restricted products to уouth will be valuable to the task force as theу provide our government with expert advice on how the legalization process should take place.”
In Prince Edward Island, teens were refused e-cigarettes an impressive 92.5% of the time, with New Brunswick, Manitoba and British Columbia running slightly behind. Quebec, on the other hand, turned teens away only 43.3% of the time, despite the fact that the sale of ecigarettes to minors is against the law in that province.
Ejuice containing nicotine, as well as nicotine ecigarettes are not approved for sale by Health Canada, yet they are not illegal and are widely available. The provinces are all over the map on legislation regarding the sale of ecigarettes to minors, with some having passed regulatory legislation to prohibit their sale to minors, and others having no rules at all.
Convenience stores caught in confusing ecigarette legal tangle
According to Alex Scholten, President of the Canadian Convenience Stores Association, the lack of Health Canada approval means members of his association don’t sell e-cigarettes, yet other retailers do, frustrating the convenience store owners. “Our retailers have seen tobacco sales go down in recent уears, with more and more consumers turning away from tobacco products in favour of vaping and electronic cigarettes.” He added it would be helpful if the rules for electronic cigarettes were applied evenly across the country.
Meanwhile, the Health Minister’s office said that a final report on this issue will be released bу Health Canada in a few weeks.