Category Archives: Electronic Cigarettes Canada

Canadian Lung Association Open To E-Cigarettes

Canadian Lung AssociationIn appears the Canadian Lung Association may be re-thinking it’s stance on electronic cigarettes.  The publicly funded health organization has put out multiple press releases warning Canadian smokers about the potential risks of “vaping”.  In an article released January 21st, 2013 named “Don’t Be Fooled By E-Cigarettes“, Margaret Bernhardt-Lowdon, a tobacco issues spokesperson for the Canadian Lung Association stated:

“Don’t be fooled by e-cigarettes. These electronic devices could be potentially harmful to lung health and are not an approved quit smoking aid by either Health Canada or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,”

But in an article by Carly Weeks from the Globe and Mail named “Could E-Cigarettes Save Smokers’ Lives? Some Health Advocates Think So“, the CLA seems to be reconsidering their prior objections to the new technology:

“I think we owe it to the five million Canadians who are addicted to tobacco products. If there’s a product out there that may have some merit to bring down those numbers, we have to look at it,” – Jennifer Miller, vice-president of health promotion with the Lung Association.

It is a promising sign for all Canadian smokers and vapers.  And although it is not an outright endorsement, it does give hope that public health advocates in Canada are starting to consider the science behind electronic cigarettes, rather than the hype.

E-Cigarette Discount Code

e-cigarette discount codeWe are pleased to announce a new discount code from the leading e-cigarette website in Canada, SmokeInstead.ca.  The discount code is for 15% off any and all products available on the site.  This includes starter kits such as the Aurora PV One or the Joyetech eGo-T .  It can also be used to purchase additional cartridges, e-liquid or electronic cigarette accessories.  The only restrictions for the discount code is that a minimum order total of $50 must be reached and the code can only be used once per customer.

All orders from SmokeInstead.ca ship from Manitoba Canada so no customs issues are encountered for Canadian customers.  This is a big plus considering Health Canada’s stance on electronic smoking products.

To use the e-cigarette discount code, simply type in “15percent” without the quotes into the discount code field when checking out.  The discount will then be applied to the order.  Please note the code is only available until the end of March, 2013.

Electronic Cigarette Debate on CBC’s The Current

Listen to the full radio debate of e-cigarettes in Canada here.

 

Canadian Lung Association: Are You Kidding Me?

In a press release put out by the Canadian Lung Association named “Don’t Be Fooled By E-Cigarettes!”, they make arguments against smokers in Canada trying electronic cigarettes.  Here is a look at what claims they make:

1. “People who use e-cigarettes inhale unknown, unregulated and potentially harmful substances into their lungs,”

First, let’s point out that tobacco smokers inhale known cancer causing agents.  It can be argued that since tobacco cigarettes can legally be sold in Canada that they are regulated.  Does that make them any safer?  But the biggest issue I have with this statement is that we do know what is in e-cigarettes.  There have been multiple studies done on the contents of e-cigs.  The ingredients in the e-cigarette vapor include propylene glycol, glycerin, water, and flavoring.  Some also come with nicotine in them.

2. “E-cigarettes may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans including carcinogens and diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in antifreeze.”

This is a reference to a FDA test done in 2009.  This report was put out by the FDA in response to them being sued at the time by nJoy who claimed the FDA was unjustly seizing their stock.  nJoy was victorious in this battle.  Here is a thorough rebuttal of the FDA report.  Also, in Canada e-cigarettes do not contain nicotine so they do not have the TSNAs present as those with nicotine may.  As a side note, at the time the FDA knew so little about e-cigarettes that this was the picture they used when they released their “findings”:

fda e-cigarette testing

For those what don’t vape, here is the issue:  For the model of e-cigarette they show, you must take off the mouthpiece / cartridge before you plug it into the charger.  They way they show it, the e-cigarette would not ever charge.

3. E-cigarettes have candy-like flavours that appeal to kids

Kids and adults alike enjoy flavors.  As an example, vodka can be purchase with many, many flavors.  Should be ban it?

4. There are many proven ways to quit smoking

That statement is true provided you buy into Health Canada’s definition of “proven”.    Their list of ways to quit smoking includes Nicotine Replacement Therapies and prescription drugs.  Find out just how successful smokers are in quitting smoking using these methods.  They also fail to mention that NRTs do contain cancer cause substances known as TSNAs.

 

We only ask that smokers think for themselves, dig a little deeper into what they read, and make their own decisions about what is best for their health.

Will The FDA Rules For E-Cigarette Effect Canada?

If you follow the new in the electronic cigarette world, you know that the FDA has been hesitant, to put it nicely, about the e-cigarette. They have attempted to block it’s market categorization of a tobacco product, unsuccessfully.  They have attempted to deter smokers from using it using their own brand of science….with partial success.  But with the court cases over and their mandate handed down from Congress, they will soon be enacting rules and regulations regarding the use and sale of electronic cigarettes.  The specifics of these rules are not yet clear including the means by which they are available for sale, whether the regulations will encompass all parts of the e-cigarette (batteries, atomizers, cartomizers, e-liquid, bottles of e-liquid, etc), or even if they will be taxed similar to other tobacco products.  Some industry experts are skeptical about how the FDA will proceed.  As Bill Godshall of SmokeFree Pennsylvania states:

FDA issues notice of intent to propose “deeming” regulation by April of 2013 (to apply Chapter IX of FSPTCA to e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, shisha/hookah and other tobacco products not currently subject to Chapter IX regulations) “and to specifiy additional restrictions.”
The question for Canadian vapers and current smokers looking for a change should be, “will this change the current situation  and stance of Health Canada regarding e-cigarettes in Canada?”  If history is a factor, then yes, it will.  US law often affects Canadian laws.  Our border is long and trade is free.  This creates a situation where adopting US laws is often easier and cheaper than creating our own from scratch.  Another factor are the companies involved is such products.  Since the e-cigarette will be officially a tobacco product in the US, US tobacco companies will be taking advantage of the situation (Lorillard and Reynolds already are).  These companies may push for entry into the Canadian market under the same regulations they operate under south of the border.
And our thoughts?  It is likely in the future Canada will classify and allow e-cigarettes with nicotine as a tobacco product.  We do hope they consider the science behind different tobacco products to allow the greatest possible exposure of electronic cigarettes to current smokers in Canada.  And remember, we’re all in this together. (Red Green)

Reasons Why Health Canada Doesn’t Like E-Cigarettes

Here are our top reasons why we believe Health Canada has banned electronic cigarettes with nicotine and won’t let any companies claim e-cigarettes help smokers quit smoking.  Please note these are made up and suppose to be funny.  In no way has Health Canada indicated that any of the below reasons are factual…..although that doesn’t mean they are not 😉

1. If everyone in Canada was healthy, there would be no need for Health Canada.

2. First e-cigarettes, then e-joints.

3. Smokers pay taxes, taxes pay salaries.

4. There are not enough smokers working for Health Canada

5. They don’t believe vaping is as cool as smoking

 

Nonetheless, if you smoke and live in Canada, you can get e-cigarettes without nicotine and they work just fine!

Coupon Code For E-Cigarettes at SmokeInstead.ca

e-cigarette coupon codeWe are pleased to offer our readers a discount code for 15% off all orders at www.smokeinstead.ca, the premier website for e-cigarettes and vaping accessories in Canada.  When checking out you will see a space to type in a coupon code.  Just use the code 15discount and a 15% discount will automatically be calculated from your order total.  The code can be used on any products including the Aurora PV One kit, the Joyetech eGo-T kit, cartridges or e-liquid.

If you live in Canada and smoke tobacco cigarettes, you will be happy you tried an electronic cigarette.  Not only can they generally be used where smoking is prohibited, but they are also cheaper than “analogue” cigarettes.  Try one today at www.smokeinstead.ca using the code 15discount!

Former Smoker Wants End To E-Cigarette Ban In Canada

no vapingRussell Daikens is not alone.  He wants Health Canada to end it’s ban on electronic cigarettes that contain nicotine.  He smoked for 50 years at two packs per day.  Quick math tells us he smoked about 730,000 tobacco cigarettes over this period….and that is at 20 cigarettes per pack, while many come in 25.  But in January he found the e-cig and never turned back.  The story appear in this news article on metronews.ca.

It’s not hard to see why Russell is an advocate for the new vaping technology.  He is a retired sailor who’s health was obviously adversely effected by smoking.  But now, Russell says “I’m done hacking and coughing, and haven’t touched a cigarette since.”  But he, like other former smokers, is concerned about the supply of nicotine e-liquid for their e-cigarettes.  Although none nicotine liquid and the vaping units themselves can be found online at such retailers as www.smokeinstead.ca, the nicotine refill liquid is banned.  And those attempting to import across the Canadian border risk having Canadian Customs seize their shipment.  Hardly seems far to those who gave up smoking.  Russell speculates why Health Canada is against the new “smoking” product, “You’re up against Big Tobacco, and you’re up against the government, too, because they want their revenue.”  The real reason may never be known, but let’s look at their current reasoning:

Although these electronic smoking products may be marketed as a safer alternative to conventional tobacco products and, in some cases, as an aid to quitting smoking, electronic smoking products may pose risks such as nicotine poisoning and addiction,” Health Canada said, in a statement.

Funny that Health Canada is worried about nicotine addiction when they authorize the sale of tobacco cigarettes, which have nicotine.  They also approved many other products with nicotine in them such as nicotine gum and patches.  And the concern over nicotine poisoning is unlikely.  In fact it has never happened.  E-Cigarettes have been used in North America for over 5 years without one case of nicotine poisoning.  This is not to say it is a none issue.  If a user where to drink a bottle of e-liquid with nicotine, it would be very, very dangerous.  But banning (rather than regulating) e-cigarettes because of potential consumer misuse is analogous to banning mouthwash because of the off chance someone would drink it in quantities that would harm them.  Reasonable regulation and labeling would seem to be a more logical course of action.

So will Health Canada re-consider it’s ban on electronic cigarettes with nicotine?  It seems unlikely until someone ponies up the money to make it a pharmaceutical product.  And even then, sales would likely be limited to pharmacies.  For Russell’s sake, and  for the sake of every other smoker in Canada, we hope Health Canada looks at the e-cigarette as a blessing, not a danger.

Is Health Canada Contradicting Itself?

Health CanadaSince 2009 Health Canada has placed a ban on marketing or selling e-cigarettes with nicotine.  Their stance is they need market authorization in the same way a nicotine patch or gum needs authorization within Canada.  As we mentioned in the past, non-nicotine electronic cigarettes are fine, since they do not contain any substances that warrant involvement with Health Canada.

What is curious is that it appears Health Canada does know the benefits of vaporization over combustion, as they state on their website with regards to vaporizing marijuana:

The advantages of vaporization apparently include the formation of a smaller quantity of toxic by-products such as carbon monoxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and tar, as well as a more efficient extraction of THC from the cannabis material (47,48,49,43,50). The subjective effects and plasma concentrations of THC are comparable to those of smoked cannabis with absorption being somewhat faster with the vaporizer (43). The vaporizer is well-tolerated, with no reported adverse effects, and is generally preferred over smoking by most subjects (43)

And as Brad Rodu (Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville) points out in his recent blog post:

Among the comment’s scientific references, the most frequently cited is a study of vaporized marijuana published in 2007 by scientists at the University of California at San Francisco (abstract here).  It concluded:
“Whereas smoking marijuana increased [carbon monoxide, CO] levels as expected for inhalation of a combustion product, there was little if any increase in CO after inhalation of THC from the vaporizer. This indicates little or no exposure to gaseous combustion toxins. Combustion products are harmful to health and reflect a major concern about the use of marijuana cigarettes for medical therapy as expressed by the Institute of Medicine… Vaporization of marijuana does not result in exposure to combustion gases, and therefore is expected to be much safer than smoking marijuana cigarettes. The vaporizer was well tolerated and preferred by most subjects compared to marijuana cigarettes.”
From this, let’s make a leap:  Health Canada would recommend, if you were intent on smoking marijuana, that you vaporize it because it is better for you.  However, they would NOT recommend, if you were intent on smoking cigarettes, that you use an e-cigarette.
Yes, there are other nicotine replacement “therapies” such as the patch or gum, but these are to quit smoking.  What if a smoker wanted to keep smoking and getting nicotine, but wanted a safer method?  Is Health Canada going against it’s stated mission of “helping Canadians maintain and improve their health, while respecting individual choices and circumstance”.  If they know vaporization is safer than combustion and they want to respect individual choices, they why would they deny Canadians the option of an electronic cigarette?
We encourage you to write Health Canada and your Member of Parliament and ask them.

 

Electronic Cigarette Article From The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

We came across an article written in January, 18th, 2012 by Susie Stachan from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  The article, entitled “E-cigarettes not the answer to quitting smoking” (full article can be found here) is full of misleading and incorrect information.  And although we respect what the WRHA has done over the years, we also believe in facts and science so here are some corrections.  Below are excerpts from the article and our opinion on their factuality.

Proponents say e-cigarettes help them to cut down on the health risks, eliminate the odour of burning tobacco, and cut down on the amount of nicotine they get with each inhalation.

The issue here is the word proponents, or rather than missing word “users”.  The fact is, the internet is full of e-cigarette users praising the technology.  It should be important what e-cigarette users and current/former smokers have to say, but it appears it is not.

Yet e-cigarette kits are both sold online through Canadian websites, and in stores in Winnipeg, all of which contain nicotine.

Simply not true.  Some electronic cigarette retailers do sell e-cigs with nicotine, but many do not.  One example is this online e-cigarette retailer which carries a couple different brands, all without nicotine.

Health-care providers don’t know if they are a safe alternative to regular cigarettes, or if they are a bid by Big Tobacco to continue having people buying their product.

How can they not know?  Everyone in the industry and on the forums know the big players, and they aren’t tobacco companies.  In fact the first sign of the tobacco industry getting involved in electronic cigarettes was when the tobacco company Lorillard bought the established e-cig brand, Blu.  Most e-cigarette companies are small start-ups with some better funded companies slowly rising to the top.

As for the safer alternative, let’s compare.  Tobacco cigarettes contain 4000 chemicals and kill about half the long time users.  E-Cigarettes use propylene glycol, glycerin, water, flavoring, and optionally nicotine.  All ingredients (minus the nicotine) are approved for use in food.  Nicotine is found in all NRT products.  And there have been multiple tests of the electronic cigarette.

“There are concerns about second-hand smoke, too. There’s no clear evidence on what’s in that vapour, and whether this will have a second-hand smoke effect on other people,”

At the time of the article, there wasn’t.  But now there is testing showing that e-cig vapor is not dangerous to bystanders indoors.

In May 2009, the FDA’s Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis tested the contents of 18 varieties of electronic cigarette cartridges produced by two vendors: NJoy and Smoking Everywhere. They found known cancer-causing agents in a number of the cartridges, and also that the actual nicotine levels did not always correspond to the amount they purported to contain.

What the FDA found was trace amounts of TSNA (Tobacco-specific nitrosamines) and as Dr. Michael Siegel noted on his tobacco harm reduction blog: “The rest of the story is that an independent scientific expert report has now confirmed that – at least in the case of NJOY electronic cigarettes – there is no evidence that these products pose any increased health risks compared to FDA-approved nicotine replacement products and that they pose much less health risk than FDA-approved tobacco cigarettes.”

We do believe that nicotine content should be regulated to ensure accuracy.

The Winnipeg Health Region offers smoking cessation support and supplies patients with nicotine patches and gum while they are staying in region hospitals.

That is great.  But seems odd that they would recommend a patch or gum with nicotine rather than recommend an electronic cigarette with no nicotine.  Last time I checked, they don’t give alcoholics beer so they will stop drinking.

We hope all public health organizations in Canada will base their opinions and recommendations on facts and science and not blindly tow the company line.