Earlier this week, regulators in the United States ordered Juul to pull its vaping products from the market, dealing a major blow to one of the most powerful players in the industry.
The company is appealing the decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking a federal court to block a government order to stop selling its electronic cigarettes.
While the attempted ban in the U.S. doesn’t directly affect Canada, some health advocates say it raises questions about the slow pace of regulation in this country.
Here’s a closer look at the FDA’s decision and what’s happening in Canada.
Why was Juul banned?
As part of the FDA’s review process, companies had to demonstrate that their e-cigarettes benefit public health. In practice, that means proving that adult smokers who use them are likely to quit or reduce their smoking, while teens are unlikely to get hooked on them.
In its decision, the FDA said that some of the biggest e-cigarette sellers like Juul may have played a “disproportionate” role in the rise in teen vaping. The agency said that Juul’s application didn’t have enough evidence to show that marketing its products “would be appropriate for the protection of the public health.”
On Friday, the e-cigarette maker asked the court to pause what it called an “extraordinary and unlawful action” by the FDA that would require it to immediately halt its business. The company filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington as it prepares to appeal the FDA’s decision.
That dispute is far from over.
What about in Canada?
Juul’s vaping products, as well as those sold by other companies, remain available in Canada.
Health Canada proposed a ban on flavoured vaping products last June. At the time, it cited research indicating that flavoured vaping products are “highly appealing to youth, and that youth are especially susceptible to the negative effects of nicotine – including altered brain development, which can cause challenges with memory and concentration.”
But after a round of consultations last year, that proposed ban still hasn’t been put into effect.
WATCH | P.E.I. now has toughest vaping, smoking laws in Canada:
Several provinces and territories have put in place their own limits on flavoured vaping products, citing their appeal to teenagers.
(Juul voluntarily stopped selling many of its flavoured cartridges in 2020 following criticism they were designed to entice youth.)
David Hammond, a public health professor at the University of Waterloo who researches vaping in youth, said banning Juul products in the U.S. won’t necessarily have a significant impact on the industry as a whole, given its declining market share and the variety of products available.
“You know, it’s like a tube of toothpaste. If you press at one point, you just kind of squeeze it to a different spot,” he said.
What does Health Canada say?
“Health Canada has no plans to remove any vaping products from the Canadian market that comply with the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act and the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act,” the agency told CBC News in an email.
The government has recently put in place new restrictions on the sector, including limits on advertising for e-cigarettes and the amount of nicotine in the products. It’s also undergoing a review of the legislation for vaping products that went into effect in 2018.
On its website, Health Canada warns of the risks of e-cigarettes, saying “the potential long-term health effects of vaping remain unknown” and the government continues to investigate “severe pulmonary illness associated with vaping.”
Last week, Health Canada announced another set of proposed regulations that would require vaping companies to disclose information about “sales and ingredients used in vaping products,” to help the government “keep pace with the rapidly evolving vaping market.”
How popular is vaping?
Vaping is popular among young people, with 14 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 15 and 19 having vaped in the last month of 2020, up from six per cent from the same month in 2017, according to the results of the Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey.
Vaping is less popular for adults over the age of 25, with just three per cent reporting that they vaped within the last month in 2020.
Robert Schwartz, a senior scientist at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, said the regulatory challenge is to strike a balance between making these products available to adults as an alternative to cigarettes, while at the same time limiting their appeal to younger non-smokers.
“We definitely are finding that young people who would not otherwise become cigarette smokers have started to use e-cigarettes and they fairly quickly develop a dependence on them,” said Schwartz.
“Our research is also demonstrating that some adults are able to quit by … using these cigarettes.”
What’s the holdup?
Like Schwartz, Hammond said vaping products could be a useful tool in helping wean smokers off cigarettes. He said it doesn’t make sense to put strict limits on vaping products if cigarettes, which are thought to be more harmful, are still available in corner stores.
“I don’t think the answer lies just with how they are regulated,” he said. “I think it lies with the industry and reframing these products as something that a 50-year-old uses to quit smoking and not a 15-year-old grabs on the way to a party.”
Hammond, who sits on Health Canada’s advisory board for vaping products, said the agency could stand to move more quickly given the stakes.
“There’s no doubt these are difficult questions and the market shifts rapidly. But it’s not an area where slow, plodding regulation is a good fit,” he said.
Cynthia Callard, executive director of the advocacy group Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, said that, while the context is different in Canada, the FDA decision “is a reminder that governments can and should bar market access to products which cannot be shown to benefit public health.”
Ageism: Does it Exist or Is It a Form of ‘I’m a Victim!’ Mentality? [ Part 4 ]
How you think is everything.
This is the fourth and final column of a 4-part series dealing with ageism while job hunting.
The standard advice given by “experts” to overcome ageism revolves contorting yourself to “fit in,” “be accepted,” and “be invited.” Essentially, their advice is to conceal your age and hope the employer throughout the hiring process won’t figure it out and hire you.
It takes a lot of time and energy to be accepted into places where you aren’t welcome, and it can be heartbreaking.
Finding an employer who accepts you for who you are, regardless of age, gender, race, or whatever, is the key to happy employment. There’s no better feeling than the feeling you’re welcomed. Therefore, my advice to job seekers is: Be your best self and let the chips fall where they may. Doing your best and accepting the outcome will give you a Zen-like sense of freedom.
An attempt to infer someone’s biases based on their actions is usually just an assumption based on what you want to believe. If it benefits you to think someone is practicing ageism (e.g., a convenient excuse), then you’ll believe you’re the victim of ageism.
The fact is you don’t know what the hiring manager’s behind the scene looks like. The entire company’s leadership team judges their hiring decisions. Your fit with current employees needs to be considered. Budget constraints exist. Let’s not forget the biggest hiring influencer, and their past hiring mistakes, which they don’t want to repeat.
While reviewing resumes for a senior accounting position, the hiring manager thinks, “The Centennial College graduates I’ve hired didn’t last six months. While Bob has plenty of experience, he’s a Centennial College alumnus. Hiring another six months quitter won’t look good on me.” “Karen has worked for FrobozzCo International. If I recall, the company reportedly funneled money into offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes. I wonder if Karen was involved.”
Association experiences contribute to most biases. You know the saying, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” If you met five rude redheads in a row, the next one will also be rude, right? The human brain is wired to look for patterns and predict future behavior based on those patterns. Call it a survival skill. When we first meet someone, we try to predict what behavior to expect from them using past experiences.
This quick assessment is why hiring managers decide, within as little as two minutes, whether a candidate is worth their time. While it’s important to try and make a good first impression (READ: image), you have no control over how others interpret it.
Bottom-line: You can’t control another person’s biases.
Based on how I hire, and conversations with hiring managers, I believe the following to be true. An employer is more interested in the results you can deliver for them than your age or whatever “ism” you believe is against you.
Can employers afford to pass up qualified candidates who could contribute to their bottom line? Of course not! (Okay, it’s “unlikely.”) You’ll be in demand if you can demonstrate a track record of adding value to your employers.
Having the belief that your age prevents you from finding the employment you want is a paralyzing belief. Ageism exists for all ages, which I think many people use as a crutch.
“They said I was overqualified. That’s ageism!”
“They hired someone younger than me. That’s ageism!”
“They said I wasn’t experienced enough. That’s ageism!”
Get over yourself!
Employers can hire whomever they deem to be the best fit for their business. It’s self-righteous to judge someone else’s biases (READ: preferences), especially when their biases don’t serve your interests. Let’s say, for example, you’re 52 years old, and the hiring manager prefers candidates between 45 and 55 (Yes, I know such hiring managers), and they hire you. Would you call out the hiring manager’s bias that worked in your favor?
If you believe your age is an obstacle, here’s my advice: Break the fourth wall. If you sense your age is the elephant in the room, put your age on the table and see what happens. When interviewing, I always mention, early in, that I’ve been managing call centers since 1996. I then let my interviewer do the mental math and wrestle with any age bias they may have. As I mentioned in my last column, the employer most likely Googled you and has a good idea of your age. Therefore, since you were vetted to determine if you were interview-worthy, tell yourself that your age is irrelevant.
When interviewing, don’t focus on “isms.” Doing so makes them your reality. Instead, focus on the problems the position you’re interviewing for is meant to solve.
Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send Nick your questions at email@example.com
CMHC reports annual pace of housing starts up 1.1 per cent in July – CP24
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, August 16, 2022 9:02AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 16, 2022 9:02AM EDT
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts in July edged higher compared with June despite a slowdown in urban starts.
The housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in July was 275,329 units, an increase of 1.1 per cent from June.
The annual rate of urban starts was down 0.8 per cent at 254,371 units in July, while multi-unit urban starts fell 0.3 per cent to 195,987 units.
The pace of single-detached urban starts dropped 2.3 per cent to 58,384 units.
Meanwhile, rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,958 units.
The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates was 264,426 units in July, up from 257,862 in June.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 16, 2022.
Recall: Baby rocker, swing recalled over strangulation risks – CTV News
Two infant products, manufactured by baby gear company 4moms, are being recalled due to strangulation hazards, according to a consumer product notice issued by Health Canada.
Health Canada says the recall involves certain MamaRoo baby swings and the RockaRoo baby rockers.
Those products impacted by the recall include MamaRoo infant swing set models that use a 3-point harness including models 4M-005, 1026 and 1037, according to the recall notice.
The MamaRoo model that uses a 5-point harness is not included in the recall, according to Health Canada.
The affected RockaRoo baby rocker’s model number is 4M-012. The model numbers can be found on the bottom of the products.
Both products have restraint straps that can dangle below the seat, and infants who are not seated can become “entangled in the straps, posing a strangulation hazard,” Health Canada said in the recall notice.
“This issue does not present a hazard to infants placed in the seat of either product,” the agency noted.
According to the recall, there have been no reports of strangulation or injury submitted to the company as of Aug. 9.
“Consumers with infants who can crawl should immediately stop using the recalled products and place them in an area where crawling infants cannot access,” reads the statement.
Consumers who have purchased one of the recalled products can register on the 4moms recall registration website or by phone at 877-870-7390. After doing this, 4moms will send a strap fastener to consumers with instructions on how to install.
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