I don't profess to know a lot about the e-cigarette industry -- my interest only recently sparked while researching an article I wrote for this website -- but I had to laugh today after reading on a news website that the sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine is illegal in Canada but the sale of real cigarettes isn't. And, apparently Canada is not the only country that's doing this.
The advertisement, import and sales of e-cigarettes containing nicotine were banned in Canada in March of 2009. Since that time, thousands of Canadians who use them have been forced to buy them in other countries and have them shipped across the border where they can be confiscated by customs officials.
E-cigarettes containing non-nicotine cartridges are not banned, nor are other nicotine replacement therapies like Nicorette gum or the nicotine patch. The issue has set off a wave of controversy that has yet to end.
Health Canada hasn't made the use of the e-cigarettes with nicotine illegal (yet) and cites the following reasons for the current ban:
- Improper use can lead to nicotine poisoning
- They haven't received market authorization
- They can cause addiction
- Lack of quality control
Many Canadians suspect the ban is not due to health issues at all, but to the millions of dollars in governmental tax revenue generated each year by the sale of tobacco products. If more people switch to e-cigarettes, less people buy the real deal, which places a big strain on the tobacco industry. It also means that there will be less tax dollars to fill the pockets of the Canadian government.
What do you think is the real reason behind this ban? Are you as unraveled as I am about the double standard that exists here? Why would Health Canada allow the sale of cigarettes that kill hundreds of thousands of people each year, yet ban the sale of e-cigarettes because they consider them to be unsafe? I welcome your comments as I continue to search for answers to these questions.
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