November 28, 2018
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Health experts are growing increasingly concerned about tobacco companies, like Imperial Tobacco Canada, running lifestyle advertisements for their vaping products on television, social media and in other settings.
Since the spring, lifestyle advertising of vaping products has been prohibited under the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act. However, these laws are not being enforced. Last week, four health groups held a press conference on Parliament Hill calling on the federal government to take action against Imperial Tobacco’s television campaign for its vaping product Vype ePen 3.
Senator Harder, when will the government step up and take enforcement action against Imperial Tobacco Canada for its seemingly illegal advertisements?
Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for her question. It proves the need for us to move to a chamber that I hope has better audio. On the specifics, let me take leave to make inquiries of the department on the matter of Imperial Tobacco.
The senator will know the enforcement of this regime, which has been adopted by the Parliament, is important to the Government of Canada and the Minister of Health. The department has taken certain enforcement actions. However, I don’t know if it’s the one to which the honourable senator refers. I will be happy to report back.
Senator Seidman: As you might recall, during the debate on Bill S-5, greater restriction on vaping product advertising was requested by many honourable senators, members of Parliament and health agencies. These requests were not heeded despite evidence of a growing epidemic of nicotine addiction amongst our youth.
Senator Harder, will the government use its regulatory power to restrict advertising for vaping products to brand preference and information advertising only? Will the government use its regulatory powers to restrict this advertising only to publications sent to named persons and places where minors are prohibited by law from entering?
Senator Harder: I take the question as a serious request for the government to consider doing this. I will bring it to the attention of the minister and report back.