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How Flavour Bans Make The Problem Worse

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How Flavour Bans Make The Problem Worse

Recently, a few provinces have proposed that they bypass nationwide e-liquid regulations in favour of their own provincial limitations.  The primary topic that has been discussed in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Quebec and the Yukon Territories is a flavour ban of e-cigarettes.

The proposal of these bans raises a few questions about what the government hopes to accomplish with these new regulations.  Before getting into that though, I’d like to take you back somewhere between 5 and 8 years ago when vaping in Canada was still in its infancy.

For those who saw the potential in e-cigarettes; e-liquid was a great way for someone with a little bit of knowledge and resourcefulness to make some good money while also helping fellow smokers ditch those combustible cigarettes.  These would-be entrepreneurs would set up their version of a ‘clean room’ and start manufacturing products to sell to the public.  With fine syringes, the ratios of Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin and Nicotine would be reasonably close but always had some level of inaccuracy.  The term “bathtub e-liquid” was born and later GMP certified facilities would be the go-to option for manufacturing.  With everything happening in the media with contaminated THC Cartridges, those “bathtub e-liquid” products have now been given a new term: “Blackmarket e-liquid”.

I feel this is the core problem with the suggestion to ban flavoured e-cigarettes as it further encourages home manufacturing of products that will inevitably end up sold; effectively taking this industry back 5+ years.  There are many owners I have met in this industry that were unhappy with bottling and flavour name regulations, yet I feel we were truly on the right path.  Consumers have a right to know exactly what is in their product with an easy to read label.  Consumers should not have to be concerned about their young children finding nicotine products appealing.  Everything that has been done to this point has made perfect, logical sense to me.

Daniel David of VITA posted an article in regards to the Yukon proposal and had this to say:  “The industry is in support of regulations that protect consumers, but we must take care to make sure they are developed without haste and to enforce regulations that are already in place. We want to ensure that adult Canadians have access to regulated products and to protect against illicit market products that could potentially be unsafe.”  (Full article can be found here: https://vitaofcanada.com/vita-yukon-response/)

I feel like a flavour ban is the wrong approach to the youth vaping problem and worsens the concerns that vapers have now about the safety in e-liquid.  Without flavoured e-liquid, many adult Canadians who have successfully transitioned away from cigarettes are going to be faced with a difficult decision: should they vape on a flavourless product/ flavoured with the tobacco they’ve tried to get away from, or switch back to harmful cigarettes?

Time will only tell if that is a question that people will need to ask themselves.  I hope that the governing bodies of each province will opt to allow Health Canada to continue making helpful decisions for Canadians based on factual information rather than try the ‘quick fix’ that is more likely to exacerbate the problem further.


Tim Howey

General Manager

True North Vapor


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