Health Canada has proposed that a cap be placed on the nicotine levels in vaping products to no more than 20 mg/ml. The so-called proposal is in response to concerns over an increase in the number of teens and youths that are vaping.
The proposal began last December. During this time, Health Canada was soliciting comments from the general public and their input about the change.
The new proposal is being adapted from the European Union’s regulations that place the cap at 20 mg/ml. While there is debate on the proposal, both Nova Scotia and British Columbia have already implemented nicotine level caps in their respective provinces at the new level.
Why the Need for a New Proposal?
Health Canada was being pressured by anti-vaping groups to lower the level of nicotine in vaping products. These same groups also expressed concern over the increase in youth vaping from recent research studies.
However, these studies focused primarily on high-concentration nicotine salts – not free-based nicotine used in e-liquids. As a result, the studies suggested that youths were developing a dependence to nicotine due to the availability of nicotine salts on the market.
Other Rules in the New Proposal
Besides limiting nicotine levels, the new proposal also wants to prohibit the sale of vaping products that has more than 20 mg/ml. Current vaping regulations allow vaping products to have nicotine levels up to 66 mg/ml.
Why the Proposal Is Flawed
If we look at the changes in both Nova Scotia and British Columbia and the imposed nicotine level of 20 mg/ml in vaping products, there is already some rather interesting data that clearly demonstrates that Health Canada’s proposal is seriously flawed.
For starters, in Nova Scotia, they also tacked on a $0.50 tax for every ml of vaping juice sold. This change deterred vapers, yet it saw a major increase in tobacco sales.
Next, in British Columbia, while the number of youths vaping declined, the number of youths smoking tobacco cigarettes drastically increased. As you can clearly see, the proposed changes will only fuel an increase in tobacco sales.
Even though the vaping rates among teens and youths have increased, the data does not indicate whether the e-juice being used contains nicotine or is simply flavoured.
Another flaw with the 20 mg/ml cap is vapers will no longer be able to regulate nicotine levels. So, if they are switching from tobacco to e-juice, they are not able to gradually wean themselves off nicotine.
Additionally, if vapers are not satisfied with the lower nicotine level, they will turn to cigarettes to get the additional nicotine they desire. So ultimately, Health Canada is creating a situation that will see an increase in tobacco cigarette use, and any declines in recent years will be effectively reversed.
If you enjoy vaping and the freedom of choosing your nicotine levels, then you need to let your voice be heard.