The Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health (CCMOH) is recommending that Canadians who need support with a nicotine addiction speak to a healthcare provider and seek out proven cessation therapies, such as medication or approved nicotine replacement therapies.

The council released the statement during National Non-Smoking Week, emphasizing that smoking continues to pose a significant risk to the health of Canadians. More than 45,000 people die from smoking-related causes each year.

Governments should address increase in nicotine vaping

It also is concerned by the substantial rise of nicotine vaping among Canadian youth and recommends that federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments address this rapidly emerging public health threat.

The overarching objectives of the recommendations are to protect young people from inducements to use vaping devices by regulating such devices as equivalent to tobacco products, and to encourage smokers who use vaping devices to use them solely to end or reduce their use of all nicotine-containing products.

Council makes several recommendations

Included in its recommendations to governments are to:

  • Ban all flavoured vaping products and then provide regulatory exemptions or market authorizations for a minimum set of flavours to support smokers who choose to use vaping to end or reduce their use of nicotine-containing products
  • Limit the nicotine content in vaping products
  • Consider making the age of 21 the minimum sales age for both tobacco and vaping products
  • Create requirements for age-verification of internet purchases of vaping products that are the same as those required for cannabis
  • Enhance surveillance and reporting of vaping product use and population health impacts
  • Research the effectiveness of vaping products in supporting smokers to end or reduce their use of all nicotine-containing products.