After vaping, edible capsules! The tobacco industry, which has targeted young people with cigarettes, cigars and vaping, is now turning to edible nicotine. As we mark this Tuesday the entry into force of new rules banning attractive flavors and designs in vaping products, organizations engaged in the fight against smoking are already preparing for the next round.
In the opinion of several stakeholders interviewed by The Canadian Press, the next battle could well be over edible nicotine. These are sachets that are placed in the mouth and which release nicotine. Obviously, the psychoactive substance which causes strong dependence is well camouflaged behind a pleasant aroma of berries or others.
A simple online search reveals that these products are already marketed almost everywhere in the world and that they are already the subject of warnings from health authorities.
The Dr Nicholas Chadi, a pediatrician and researcher specializing in adolescent medicine and addiction, calls these pouches one of the key emerging products to watch.
“We are seeing these products appear more and more in the United States, which could certainly happen here in Quebec, in Canada.
It’s an industry that knows how to reinvent itself very well, so we have to remain vigilant.
His message aims to prevent young people from developing a nicotine addiction since studies show that it can have consequences on their brain, their mental health and make them more vulnerable to developing other addictions.
The general director of the Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health (CQTS), Annie Papageorgiou, knows her opponent well. “We are dealing with the same industry that is behind cigarettes, so they have the same practices, the same ways of marketing. Although we put regulations on them, they always find a way to be ingenious,” she recalls, adding that this industry has significant financial resources.
Member of Parliament for Marquette and spokesperson for the official opposition on healthy lifestyle habits, Enrico Ciccone has also dealt with the tobacco lobby. “The minute I started asking questions, I was inundated,” he shared, referring to his social media where industry voices are very active.
He sees this as motivation to remain consistent with his positions in order to “protect future generations”.
Black market ?
Furthermore, even if we manage to limit physical access to tobacco or vaping products to a minimum, there will always be ways to circumvent the ban, believes the manager of the advocacy team public to the Canadian Cancer Society, David Raynaud.
However, he warns that online purchasing is also prohibited in Quebec. However, it cannot be ruled out that fruit or candy aromas may still be felt if vaping enthusiasts obtain their supplies outside the province. David Raynaud nevertheless believes that Quebec has one of the best programs to combat tobacco contraband and that it should be just as effective in the case of vaping products.
Annie Papageorgiou also knows very well that it is “not because the regulation is going to be applied that all of a sudden it will all stop there”. She insists on the importance of continuing to raise awareness among the population about the harms of vaping on health and even on the environment since they are disposable consumer products.
Along the same lines, David Raynaud speaks of the need to “denormalize” vaping and the consumption of nicotine products in general.
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