First, a little bit of history:

Big Tobacco (BT) exists, in Canada, because Health Canada (HC) was asleep at the switch more than half a century ago, when BT was, relatively speaking, "Little Tobacco".

Big Nicotine (BN, the latest creation of BT) exists, in Canada, because Health Canada was -- and still is -- unconscious!

It seems HC learned absolutely nothing from the [ongoing] tobacco pandemic.  Given that experience (and 2 million plus Canadian deaths from tobacco use), one would think that, if/when BT et al came up with a 'new and improved' product like e-cigs -- complete with extremely slick, glossy and ,i>attractive-to-youth marketing and advertising -- HC would've said, "Not so fast!  Like any other product on the market, this needs to be tested, we need to know the long-term consequences, etc."  But it seems that BT, with its extremely deep pocket$, always gets a pass... and, quite literally, gets away with [albeit slow] murder.

E-cigs are currently banned, entirely, in about 40 countries around the world!  What is HC doing?  Well, HC is, quite literally, "rearranging the deck chairs as the Titanic sinks."  HC is expressing "concern"... and, no doubt, establishing a few dozen committees to "study" the problem.  The results of those studies won't be known until after e-cig companies have proliferated and become so entrenched as an industry that it's virtually impossible to do anything about it, not to mention an ever-increasing incidence of addiction, disease, disability and premature death.

As a first step, HC needs to immediately ban all marketing and advertising of e-cigs, as there is little or no evidence that they are the magic 'quit smoking' aid that BT continues to claim they are.

All of us need to do our part to make this a major [federal] election issue.  Please, raise the e-cig issue -- politely but firmly -- at all-candidate meetings and other similar opportunities.  If nothing else, 'demand' the above-mentioned ban on all marketing and advertising of e-cigs.

Speaking of e-cig advertising...  On Tuesday, September 17, Airspace president Errol Povah spent about an hour at Granville Station (part of the SkyTrain network in the heart of downtown Vancouver) protesting obscenely massive and numerous "Vype" (a brand of e-cig) ads.  Of those passersby who expressed an opinion, 100% were supportive of the protest.  Povah's sign said, "HEY KIDS!  WELCOME TO GRANVILLE VYPE STATION!  OUTLAW THE ADS...NOW!" (note:  while still perfectly readable, "GRANVILLE" had a big X through it) and, on the flip side, it said, "SHAME ON TRANSLINK!"  I encourage everyone to check out Granville Station (and possibly 1 or 2 other stations in the downtown core)... and send an e-mail to Kevin Desmond, President and CEO of Translink, demanding that the company remove the ads.  Send your e-mail to  sandra.belfiore AT translink DOT ca  (Sandra is Desmond's assistant).

Less than 24 hours after the above protest, a "vaper" was on life support in hospital in London, ON... and India announced an extremely comprehensive ban on e-cigs.  Both of these stories were "top stories" for a few hours in the early morning of Wednesday, September 18, as they should've been.  But their "top story" status was extremely short-lived, as news broke about Trudeau's "brown/black face" pictures.  And, yet again, the champagne corks were popping in the head offices of Canadian BT/BN.

IF HC is not prepared to ban e-cigs entirely (remember the good ol' days, when Canada was a world leader in tobacco/nicotine control?), I would suggest that, at the very least, HC make all e-cigs (and all other such "gadgets") available by prescription only.  And, even more importantly, the volume of nicotine in the e-cig must be reduced, gradually (over a limited period of time... perhaps 6 months?), so that the user is eventually weaned off it entirely.

Health Canada has to stop rearranging the deck chairs... and start taking its responsibility for the health and safety of all Canadians much more seriously.  There's no better way to do that than to do their job (quickly, please)... and stand up to the barbarians and bullies at Big Tobacco/Big Nicotine... and let them know who's really in charge.

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