Health Canada is the big health body in the country, and it has a clear remit to protect the health of Canadians. This remit has recently expanded to cover electronic cigarettes; the devices that Health Canada felt so strongly about they imposed a blanket ban on the sale and use of. This was pretty strong stuff, but unfortunately, it has resulted in nothing more than a frustrating lack of action. In other words, it seems as if Health Canada has given up on trying to instigate any kind of action against electronic cigarettes, as if they are either not worth it, or the body simply is unable to do anything about them.
When challenged on this, Health Canada simply seems to bluff or waffle its way out of dealing with the issue head on. In fact, Health Canada has refused to widely publish any info on any stores or retailers that it has caught selling e-cigs and any punishment it may have delivered. This all sounds pretty much like nothing at all is happening, and we are inclined to believe that this is exactly the case. If something were happening, we would hear about it. Instead, we get silence.
Why the silence from Health Canada on ECIGARETTES?
Why would silence be the case? Some commentators feel that Health Canada simply cannot manage the task of policing such a huge industry, and instead is essentially burying it’s head in the sand and waiting for the problem to go away. It will only go away if the Canadian government makes some strong decisions on e-cigs, such as one that regulates their usage and sale. In the meantime, the thinking goes, Health Canada simply hasn’t got the guts to make it’s own thinking about the issue clear and immediate to the Canadian people. Toothless and timid, it will simply keep quiet on the issue until people get sick of asking about it.
However, Health Canada is defensive. When challenged on such issues like freedom of information, it simply states that people can access all the information they need; all they have to do is ask. It says that it will take some time to find information on all the stores and sellers it has warned and cautioned about e-cigs, but the information is there all the same. This is information (apparently) on who has been fined, who has had e-cigs confiscated and so on. It is all there, says Health Canada, all a person has to do is ask for it.
HC E-Cig Advisory now four years old
It has been four years since the health board issued an advisory that stated it was illegal for anyone to sell the products if they contain nicotine, or to say that they carried health benefits. Meanwhile, the sale of the products goes on, and many retailers are saying that they contain health benefits.
Some commentators are perplexed, wondering why the body is doing nothing, others are just glad that it is. It is allowing the growing industry (and the tax that comes with it) to thrive in an economy that needs all the help it can get.