New Proposed Regulations for Ontario Bill 45, Schedule 3 (ECA)

New Proposed Regulations for Ontario Bill 45, Schedule 3 (ECA)

The Ontario Liberal Government has announced the release of new proposed regulations for Bill 45, Schedule 3 Electronic Cigarettes Act (ECA), 2015. (Consolidated Version of the ECA)

In their news release, “Ontario Taking Further Steps to Protect People from Second-Hand Smoke and Vapour, Strengthening Ontario’s Smoking and Vaping Legislation”, they state that the proposed changes will:

  • Prohibit the use of e-cigarettes and the smoking and vaping of medical marijuana in all enclosed public places, enclosed workplaces, and other specified outdoor areas
  • Expand the list of places where e-cigarettes are prohibited for sale
  • Establish rules for the display and promotion of e-cigarettes in places where they are sold and prohibit the testing of e-cigarettes where they are sold.

In that release, Dipika Damerla, Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care is quoted as saying:

“It is important to ensure that Ontarians are protected from second-hand smoke and from the potential dangers of e-cigarettes. That is why we are proposing these changes and we look forward to the upcoming consultations with our stakeholders.”

In an article published by CityNews Toronto, Premier Kathleen Wynne stated:

“We have made a determination that smoking, whatever it is – whether it’s vaping, whether it’s medical marijuana, whether it’s cigarettes – that there should be restrictions on that,” she said Thursday. “And so the rules will apply to marijuana, to medical marijuana, to vaping as they do to cigarettes.”

The summary for the proposed new regulation is located here: Strengthening Ontario’s Smoking and Vaping Laws

These proposed regulations, as they have been presented, pose a significant negative impact both our industry and the Medical Marijuana industry. Specifically for our industry, they mean:

No Vaping anywhere that smoking tobacco cigarettes is not allowed
  • No vaping in Vape Shops
  • No E-Liquid testing stations
  • No activating the device indoors for a new vaper’s first “puff”
  • No vaping in a vehicle with anyone under 16 years of age
  • No activating the device indoors for troubleshooting
  • No vaping at indoor Vape Meets in Public Spaces (Even if private club, a paid venue or rented space)
  • No vaping on Restaurant and bar patios
  • No vaping anywhere with a roof and more than two walls
Limits on Retail Promotion and Display of Products
 IF  – Under 19 years of age can see inside and/or are permitted inside (i.e. C-Store, Gas Station, etc.)

Limited promotion and display of Electronic Cigarette products, like tobacco. Signs/documents would need to meet the following conditions:

  • A maximum of three (3) signs referring to e-cigarettes and/or e-cigarette product accessories. These signs must:
    • not exceed 968 square centimeters;
    • have a white background with black text;
    • not provide any information about a brand of e-cigarette (including its components and e-substances).
  • Documents listing brands, specifications, instructions, or other details about products available for sale, could only be made available for viewing:
    • inside the store;
    • to adults over 19 years of age
 IF  – Under 19 years of age cannot see inside and are not permitted inside

Permit the display and promotion of e-cigarette products (but not the testing or sampling of e-cigarettes) in places where they are sold, provided that the following conditions are met:

  • Owner must inform its local public health unit in writing that it wishes to operate under the exemption;
  • Products and promotional material must not be visible from the outside of the store;
  • Individuals under the age of 19 would not be permitted to enter the shop;
  • Customers could only access the store from outdoors or from areas in an enclosed shopping mall;
  • Store could not be a thoroughfare (e.g. kiosk in a mall corridor)

At the end of the day, we end up with continued propagation of non-evidence based implication and public stigma that vaping is the “same as smoking”. This is a very disappointing proposal from the Ontario Liberal Government that will result in a number of tragic unintended consequences. With these proposed regulations, they are aligning three (3) very different products within the same regulations: Tobacco, Personal Vapourizers (Electronic Cigarettes) and Medical Marijuana.

These regulations are only proposed at this point and are open for public consultation from now through April 24, 2016.

Consultation can be submitted in the form of:

  • Comment through their website.
    (Click “Comment on this proposal via email” at the bottom of the page)
  • Email sent to:
    SFOA-ECA-Consultations@ontario.ca
  • Written Letter by mail:
    Population and Public Health Division
    Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
    777 Bay Street, Suite 1903
    19th floor
    Toronto, ON M7A 1S5

We have an opportunity to provide our input and we encourage everyone to participate in the consultation. Within each section of the Strengthening Ontario’s Smoking and Vaping Lawsproposed changes, the “Discussion” asks very specific questions. Simply answer those questions as clearly and concisely as possible. Maintain professionalism and courtesy or your input will not only be ignored but could potentially do damage to our already unstable position.

Sections of the Proposed Regulations and Questions

There are six (6) sections of the proposed regulations and you may respond to any and/or all of the sections that you wish.  All of the sections ask the same two questions. In your submission, indicate which section(s) for which your response applies, stick to the topic of each section and answer the questions respectfully and as factually as you can.

  1. Expand no smoking rules to apply to medical marijuana
    • How would this proposal impact your current practices or policies?
    • Do you have specific suggestions to improve this proposal?
  2. Prohibit the use of e-cigarettes – including the use of vaporizers to consume medical marijuana and testing in stores that sell e-cigarettes –in all enclosed public places, enclosed workplaces, and other specified outdoor areas
    • How would this proposal impact your current practices or policies?
    • Do you have specific suggestions to improve this proposal?
  3. Permit parents, guardians and caregivers to supply e-cigarettes to minors for medical marijuana purposes
    • How would this proposal impact your current practices or policies?
    • Do you have specific suggestions to improve this proposal?
  4. Expand the definition of “e-cigarette” to include “e-substance”
    • How would this proposal impact your current practices or policies?
    • Do you have specific suggestions to improve this proposal?
  5. Expand the list of places where e-cigarettes are prohibited from sale
    • How would this proposal impact your current practices or policies?
    • Do you have specific suggestions to improve this proposal?
  6. Establish rules for the display and promotion of e-cigarettes at places where they are sold.
    • How would this proposal impact your current practices or policies?
    • Do you have specific suggestions to improve this proposal?

The Ottawa Morning show did an interview with David Sweanor, Adjunct Law Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Center for Health Law Policy and Ethics (and long time smoking cessation advocate) on March 11, 2016.

Some of his comments where:

from a public health standpoint, it’s wrong headed.

instead, what we end up with is more of this abstinence only approach of “Let’s treat it all the same” which is very much like saying “Why don’t we treat clean needles and dirty needles the same?” or “Why don’t we treat automobiles the same” regardless of whether they have safety features?

We differentiate on risk in public health and we really need to do that when we deal with issues of nicotine and this isn’t doing that. It’s doing the opposite

One of the problems that we have is if we send a message to people that we’re going to treat these the same even though there’s a huge difference in risk, we simultaneously convince a lot of people who are vaping that “why bother? I may as well be smoking.” and it convinces a lot of smokers that may otherwise have switched, to not.

If you’re really worried about having incense burning or a candle on a table in a restaurant, yeah, there’s risk. They’re just small enough that we really don’t worry about them. The big risk we have here is that we’re dissuading people from getting off combustion.

One of the things that we know about people trying to quit smoking is, the two strongest indications of an unsuccessful quit attempt are to be put in a place where there’s lots of cigarettes and being put in a place where there’s smokers. If you combine those two, you chance of successfully quitting smoking is very small.

We’re almost guaranteeing that people who are trying to get off the product that is our leading cause of preventable death are going to fail”

Sure we’ll allow alcoholics anonymous meetings but we’ll only allow them to be held in a pub, during happy hour.

I don’t think they are doing a health perspective. I think it is much more of a moralistic. It’s looking at nicotine as if it’s a sin, not that it’s a public health issue, we’re going to treat it all the same. And again, the parallel with the war on drugs are very telling.

There are areas where you wouldn’t want vaping going on, but there are an awful lot of areas where it really doesn’t matter. And then they say we’re going to ban it even on outdoor areas. I mean, why would you do that? What’s the health grounds for doing something like that?

We’re going to be sending a message that these products are far more dangerous than they really are.

The hope is that because this is just out for comment, that they will actually listen to the comments this time and they will move to more of a public health approach like we are seeing happen in the UK where E-cigarettes are credited with a huge impact on health and helping people quit smoking.

that absolutist morality almost invariable ends up supporting, reinforcing the very evil that you are trying to conquer.

They (The Ottawa Morning Show) requested comments from vapers, smokers and non-smokers. They can be contacted via Twitter (@OttawaMorning) or Email (OttawaMorning@cbc.ca).

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