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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 106, Issue 6, pp e450–e453 | Cite as

Electronic cigarettes: A comparison of national regulatory approaches

  • Adam RoseEmail author
  • Kristian B. Filion
  • Mark J. Eisenberg
  • Caroline Franck
Commentary

Abstract

E-cigarettes have been readily available to global markets since 2004. However, regulations have lagged behind popular use and availability. As policies emerging from national health agencies have an important role to play in shaping consumer health, we examined the existing and upcoming national regulations surrounding e-cigarette availability and use in a convenience sample of English- and French-speaking countries, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia and New Zealand. There is substantial international variation in regulatory policies and the extent to which these are enforced. Of the countries considered in this review, the US has regulations that remain the most permissive, whereas those in Canada and New Zealand are the most conservative. However, regulations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand are easily bypassed through Internet imports and lenient enforcement. European health agencies are paving the way for Member States to take appropriate steps to regulate e-cigarettes according to their own jurisdictions. Currently, national regulations of e-cigarettes appear to be ill-defined in terms of shaping the future of e-cigarette availability and use. National regulations should be strengthened to reflect the public health implications of e-cigarettes and to emphasize their difference from consumer products.

Key Words

E-cigarettes regulation health policy 

Mots Clés

cigarette électronique réglementation gouvernementale politique sanitaire 

Résumé

Les cigarettes électroniques sont aisément accessibles sur le marché mondial depuis 2004. Cependant, la réglementation est en décalage par rapport à leur consommation et à leur disponibilité. Les politiques des administrations nationales de la santé ont un rôle important à jouer dans la santé des consommateurs; c’est pourquoi nous avons examiné les règlements en vigueur et en préparation portant sur la disponibilité et la consommation des cigarettes électroniques dans un échantillon de commodité de pays anglophones et francophones: le Canada, les États-Unis, le Royaume-Uni, la France, l’Australie et la Nouvelle-Zélande. Les politiques de réglementation et la mesure dans laquelle elles sont appliquées varient beaucoup à l’échelle internationale. Parmi les pays à l’étude, les É.-U. avaient les règlements les plus permissifs, tandis que le Canada et la Nouvelle-Zélande avaient les plus stricts. Toutefois, les règlements au Canada, en Australie et en Nouvelle-Zélande sont facilement contournés par les importations sur Internet, d’autant plus que l’application des règlements laisse à désirer. Les administrations européennes de la santé préparent la voie aux États membres pour qu’ils puissent prendre les mesures qui s’imposent pour réglementer la cigarette électronique selon leur compétence. À l’heure actuelle, les règlements nationaux semblent mal définis pour ce qui est de préparer l’avenir de la disponibilité et de la consommation des cigarettes électroniques. Il faudrait les renforcer pour tenir compte des répercussions pour la santé publique de la cigarette électronique et pour mieux définir leurs différences par rapport aux biens de consommation.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam Rose
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kristian B. Filion
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mark J. Eisenberg
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Caroline Franck
    • 1
  1. 1.Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital, Centre for Clinical EpidemiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational HealthMcGill UniversityMontrealUSA
  3. 3.Division of Clinical EpidemiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealUSA
  4. 4.Division of Cardiology, Jewish General HospitalMcGill UniversityMontrealUSA

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