The day has finally come: after much debate about the safety and efficacy of electronic cigarettes (and their effect on the culture), Justin Trudeau's Liberal government announced Tuesday that they plan to introduce legislation to regulate vaping this fall.
According to the Canadian Press (CP), Health Canada has been vague about what those regulations would exactly be, but noted that they would be targeting underage vapers while still allowing adults to use the devices as an aide in quitting or reducing smoking. However, Health Minister Jane Philpott told CP that the discussion will give the government a chance to take another look at the concerns raised over the safety of e-cigarettes.
"It is a challenging area because, for one thing, we are lacking adequate evidence to completely understand the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes," she said.
"We've seen recent reports that young people are increasingly using vaping products, particularly some of the flavoured vaping products, that's often an entry into nicotine use in teenagers and we have to balance off those risks and benefits."
In the past, both vaping consumers and businesses have expressed concern that the conflation of vaping being equally as harmful as actual tobacco product was not only wrong, but perhaps even dangerous and harmful for those who are trying to quit.
Still, it's hard to say that research on vaping isn't a bit murky: numerous studies have pointed toward the lack of regulation around e-liquid manufacturing and sale being one of the main reasons why tests done on the exhaled fumes from e-cigarettes turn up carcinogenic compounds.
Earlier this year, the US introduced vaping legislation that forced vape and e-liquid manufacturers to submit their products to FDA approval. It's unclear how effective the policy has been in making the vaping industry safer, but it's a clear example of tobacco regulation beginning to target the electronic side of the market.
Follow Jake Kivanc on Twitter.