Selling vaping industry grapples with rules

Posted by on July 9, 2017


It’s not the sort of ad you would expect to see at a hockey game.

However, there was at Toronto Patriots featured on the group’s site season and matches: a marketing for — a business that sells vaping solutions.

The rules for the vaping sector are clear while marketing of tobacco cigarettes is illegal in these areas. Vapz’s presence underscores widespread confusion in the industry as it anticipates new regulation: Sellers of e-cigarettes, many small companies, are working in a gray area by advertising and promoting unapproved products that deliver nicotine to customers’ systems without acceptance and, oftentimes, that, oftentimes, without being reined in by Health Canada. While Vapz was in the games promoting its line of health and wellness products — including lotions, teas and juices — the company was selling its namesake vaping merchandise online.

“People think of Vapz, and they think of e-cigarettes,” stated Vapz president Sandra DeMaria in an interview in March. “It has gotten our name out there. People will get online and peruse the site and see what we have to offer, and they then purchase online, although we do promote much of the e-cigarettes. So we have gotten a great response with it”

E-cigarettes aren’t cigarettes. They do not contain tar or tobacco and smoke is not inhaled by consumers. Instead, they heat liquid which gives off. But a number of those “juices” do contain nicotine. Sellers say they’re currently offering .

In November, Health Canada An amendment to the Tobacco Act to regulate labelling, the sale and advertising of products — whether or not they contain nicotine — and any health claims about the products’ efficacy as aids to stop smoking. E-cigarettes would be classified by it from tobacco as a category of merchandise, but might inflict like banning, some limitations.

Meanwhile, all vaping are regulated under the Food and Drugs Act and need the approval of Health Canada to be imported, advertised or marketed here. None have received that approval.

All indications point to vaping becoming a big business. The worldwide e-cigarette market is predicted to rise to $27.6-billion (U.S.) by 2022, according to a report from Dublin-based firm Research and Markets. In Canada, vapour goods were a $282.6-million (Canadian) sector in 2016, almost 10 times the size of this industry only five years before, according to research firm Euromonitor International.

Tobacco companies are currently wading into the area, but many have resisted doing until the legislation is clear.

“Hopefully we will also be competing in e-cigarettes in Canada once there is some clarity concerning the regulations and the laws,” stated Peter Luongo, managing director of Rothmans, Benson amp; Hedges Inc. in Canada. The company will sell a vapour-emitting product named IQOS in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, but the vapour comes out of a “heat-not-burn” device that heats a tobacco stick as opposed to vaping liquid, so it’s categorized as a tobacco product. That is also true for a product which rival Imperial Tobacco Canada sells in Vancouver for today. British American Tobacco, Imperial’s parent company, sells an merchandise but has been waiting before launch here.

“There has to be a regulatory framework in place whenever possible. There’s a good deal of people doing things because there’s no regulation,” stated Eric Gagnon, head of regulatory and corporate affairs at Imperial Tobacco Canada. “There is no grey zone. It is just that Health Canada isn’t enforcing its own regulations.”

Health Canada can do it when vaping products are being sold by companies, such as by seizing product, communicating the breach or issuing recalls. The department explained its approach to enforcement in an e-mailed statement to The Globe and Mail as “risk-based and complaint-driven.”

Health Canada did not understand about Vapz.com’s sale of nicotine products until contacted by the planet, it said in an email in March.

After Health Canada then contacted Vapz, the company removed all products containing nicotine available , including capsules for its e-cigarette devices comprising up to 24 mg of nicotine, as well as “Nix Stix,” a compact version of its e-cigarettes with around 12 milligrams of nicotine each.

In March, Ms. DeMaria said that selling nicotine products was “a risk … because they tell you not to,” and added that this was one reason the company did so online only, and didn’t promote the nicotine products in advertisements.

Vapz is only 1 example of confusion at the sector that is vaping. Both online and vaping stores provide non-nicotine and nicotine e-cigarette products. Some think they are covered under the As it includes exemptions for smoking products “in a form to be administered orally by way of an inhalation device providing four mg or less of nicotine per dosage unit” Health Canada confirmed in an email, however, that smoking meant for use in vaping is known as a “new drug” and hasn’t yet been approved at any dose level.

Some companies have received “cease and desist” letters, according to Shai Sinnis, a founding member of the Canadian Vaping Association, but it’s not widespread and hasn’t deterred sellers for the most part.

“I don’t think you are likely to find that the business back off selling nicotine products until [the law is described,”” Ms. Sinnis stated.

Industry representatives say they need regulations that are clearer.

“We have been asking for regulation since 2009,” Ms. Sinnis stated. “Everybody agrees that this shouldn’t be promoted to minors, whether on your labels or on your public advertising. It ought to be performed in a professional manner that promotes the product for a tobacco harm-reduction method … We’re saving Canadians’ lives. 40,000 Canadians die each year because of disorder and tobacco death. We’ve got something that is magnitudes safer and less harmful than tobacco.”

It can be especially complicated for a business such as Vapz that also sells products such as juices, tea and water, which constitute roughly half of its revenues, according to Ms. DeMaria. This is what Vapz encouraged ” she said.

“I would never let any vapour or smoking products in our organization,” said Manny Mounouchos — owner of the Patriots, a Junior A team that competes in the Ontario Junior Hockey League — in an email. The Vapz emblem was removed at the end of the season from a list of patrons on its site.

In Ms. DeMaria’s brightly lit offices, shelves display candles, coffee and tea and body products — many of which share scents and flavours with its e-cigarette goods, such as Blueberry and Tutti Frutti. She is considering expanding the brand into a line of clothing and opening a cafĂ©, and has pushed for this focus on goods. Both her husband and she used vaping to give up smoking, and she explained that when people quit, they move toward a more healthy lifestyle which introduces a marketing opportunity that was wider.

“Our products are all about health and wellbeing. That is what we’re actually advocating,” she said. “The e-cigarettes were only the first step.”

But when the firm still did “minimum” company in vaping products containing nicotine, she stated there wasn’t always clarity on what the line was.

“It’s a gray area until we’ve got appropriate legislation,” she said at the moment. “We obviously need to stick to this as much as we could.”

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