Bans on electronic cigarette sales in Canada have set the e-cig market there behind that of the U.S. Despite lower awareness, many Canadians are starting to hear about the surprisingly successful products. Some learn about them through global media while others find out by word of mouth from users that circumvent the bans.
Canada has had a country-wide sales ban on electronic cigarettes since March of 2009. Lawmakers cited nicotine poisoning, addiction, and poor quality as reasons for the ban. The arguments are similar to those used by the FDA, but the Canadian system allowed them to succeed.
Two recent articles have suggested that the time to reconsider the ban has come. Deborah Leader, a registered nurse that writes for About.com’s COPD section, calls the issue into question. In particular, she’s a bit bothered that the country bans electronic cigarettes despite widespread availability of conventional cigarettes. You can read her comments here.
An article on Metro International’s Canadian news site digs into the issue as well. The piece interviews a man that smoked for 50 years and kicked the habit in January after learning about electronic cigarettes while spending the winter in Florida.
According to both articles, many individuals believe the Canadian government is more concerned with protecting a lucrative tax source in Big Tobacco than the health of potential e-cig users. So currently, electronic cigarette users must order products online and risk customs problems or drive to the U.S. for them. Using e-cigs isn’t illegal, just selling them.
As electronic cigarettes continue making their way toward a billion dollar market in the US and research continues showing just how successful they can be, Health Canada may soon find itself forced to admit it acted a little too rashly banning all e-cigs rather than moving to control the new market.
Are you a Canadian e-cig user? What’s your experience been?