Electronic cigarettes have misleading labels and are gaining popularity among youths

11 September 2013

Montreal -

PRESS RELEASE                                                                             

The Canadian Cancer Society’s lab tests and exclusive survey:

Electronic cigarettes have misleading labels and are gaining popularity among youths

 

Montreal, September 11, 2013 — The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) – Quebec Division is taking advantage of the issue of an electronic cigarette advisory today by the Institut national de la santé publique du Québec to make public tests it commissioned from the Université de Montréal’s Regional Centre for Mass Spectrometry. Of the 13 products tested, nine were found to have considerable irregularities and only four conformed to their labels. Even more worrying is that products labelled as “nicotine-free” hardly passed the test because two-thirds (6/9) were in fact found to contain it.

Report on the presence of nicotine in 13 electronic cigarette brands*

Type

Brand

Tested positive for nicotine

Misleading label

Labelled as nicotine-free

EVO

 

 

Smoke NV menthol

x

x

Esha

x

x

Vapur

  (x)**

x

Ezee cig

 

 

Smoke NV disposable

 

 

Vapo-T

x

x

Mini cigarette- café

x

x

Mini cigarette- Marlbo

x

x

Labelled as containing nicotine

SlimLady

x

x

CigBull soft- 300 puffs

x

x

CigBull soft – 800 puffs

x

 

Kit decouverte (EC508)

x

x

* Lab tests carried out by the Université de Montréal’s Regional Centre for Mass Spectrometry. Report dated January 15, 2013.

** traces of nicotine


In addition, a CCS-commissioned survey conducted by Leger Marketing on a sample of 2,000 respondents has established beyond doubt that the popularity of electronic cigarettes is soaring among youths. Nearly a quarter of 18-24 year olds have used electronic cigarettes during the course of the past year, while in the general population, it is only 9%. A proportion as high as 60% of youths report having used them for fun or out of curiosity, with the desire to quit smoking coming far behind. “These figures explode the myth that electronic cigarettes are made for smoking cessation. At the CCS, we are extremely concerned about a gadget that seems so attractive to youths, whether smokers or not. It is critical to better regulate this product,” says Mélanie Champagne, Director, Public Issues, CCS – Quebec Division.

So, the CCS wants the government to include a provision to regulate electronic cigarettes in the Tobacco Act to:

  • Ban their sale to minors
  • Control their advertising/promotion
  • Regulate product ingredients and emissions
  • Ban electronic cigarettes from being smoked in public places where tobacco is not allowed

“Manufacturers and distributors claim that these new products contain no nicotine and that they only produce a harmless vapour, but we see clearly that it’s not true,” says Ms. Champagne. “Nobody knows the exact composition of these products. And even if we don’t have exact figures yet, many parents tell us that their children are trying out these products for fun, to imitate adults.”

 

Much to the disappointment of tobacco companies, which are buying up small electronic cigarette manufacturers one by one, these products pose a health risk. Besides, researchers and public health organizations do not consider electronic cigarettes a tobacco replacement product for smoking cessation. According to the Health and Social Services Ministry website, “Products containing nicotine or claiming to be a quit smoking aid must be licensed to be sold in Canada. Until now, no electronic cigarette has received such licensing.”  

 

E-cigarettes in Quebec: it’s the Far West!

  • Non-regulated and non-tested, they are sold in very accessible shops like Dollarama, convenience stores, and pharmacies
    • Most of the time, they are flavoured to make them more attractive to youth
    • Their long-term effects are not known and no recognized and independent health body has recommended them as an effective quit smoking aid
    • They are highly publicized and “renormalize” smoking, which risks diminishing the gains made in the fight against tobacco

 

 

For 75 years, the Canadian Cancer Society has been with Canadians in the fight for life. All these years, we have been relentless in our commitment to prevent cancer, fund research, and support people touched by the disease. From this foundation, we will work with Canadians to change cancer forever so fewer Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and more survive. To know more about cancer, visit our website at cancer.ca or call our Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.


Information: 

Mélanie Champagne, Director, Public Issues 

Canadian Cancer Society – Quebec Division 

mchampagne@quebec.cancer.ca 

514 651-1470