Canadian Health Officials Express Concerns Over New Nicotine Product

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Canadian Health Officials Express Concerns Over New Nicotine Product
New health officer in Sudbury, Canada comments on risks of new nicotine products, highlighting concerns for youth exposure.

The Canadian newspaper "Niagara Falls Review" reported on April 21 that the new Chief Medical Officer of Health for Sudbury and district public health, Mustafa Hirji, shared his views on the risks of a new type of smoking cessation product. The health unit in Sudbury is working to ensure that the new nicotine products are kept away from children and teenagers.


Last year, the Canadian health department approved the sale of nicotine pouches in various stores including gas stations and convenience stores. These pouches are small and easy to consume, allowing users to place them between their teeth and cheeks to help quit smoking.


In response, Hillge stated, "This is a new innovation in the tobacco industry and a new method of delivering nicotine."


In July of last year, Zonnic, a nicotine pouch manufactured by Imperial Tobacco Company, was approved for sale in Canada. Hillwood pointed out that current regulations are too lenient, making nicotine pouches easily accessible to children who may be drawn to the stimulating effects of nicotine and potentially turn to smoking and e-cigarettes. Furthermore, despite warnings on the packaging of nicotine pouches, health officials are concerned that these products may still end up in the hands of teenagers.


He further explained that, despite these nicotine pouches not containing tobacco, it does not mean they do not have harmful effects on children. "Nicotine is harmful," he added, "it affects people's thinking, emotions, and attention, especially for adolescents, it can alter their brain structure in adulthood."


The health organization hopes to see nicotine pouches licensed as a medicine for adult use only, and to establish a policy to ensure that any future nicotine products are automatically treated equally. On Thursday, the full committee unanimously passed a motion reflecting these concerns and conveyed it to officials in Ottawa and Queen's Park.


A report is calling on the Canadian Ministry of Health to "take immediate action to close regulatory loopholes that allow the sale of nicotine pouches to individuals under the age of 18." Additionally, it is urging the Ontario government to "exclusively sell nicotine pouches in pharmacies, restrict their display in retail environments, and limit their promotion to youth," as well as expand the "Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy" and "develop a comprehensive, coherent regulatory framework for e-cigarettes and all nicotine-containing products that is public health-focused.


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