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Nicotine sachets will be placed behind ;re pharmacy counters in BC.

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Nicotine sachets from the “Zonnic” brand are sold in attractive packaging for young people.

Radio-Canada

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British Columbia is tightening the screws on nicotine pouches marketed as a smoking cessation aid. The province has ordered that flavored nicotine pouches be placed behind pharmacy counters.

The order, signed by the Minister of Health , Adrian Dix, will have the effect that buyers will have to consult a pharmacist in order to obtain nicotine in sachets.

By limiting access to these products and ensuring that they are dispensed by qualified healthcare professionals, our goal is to x27;prevent their misuse, particularly among young people, for recreational purposes, said Mr. Dix.

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In Quebec, the sale of nicotine sachets is already slightly more regulated than elsewhere in the country since the marketing of such products is reserved for pharmacies .

Premier David Eby says the province is doing everything in its power to prevent children from coming into contact with the dangerous and highly addictive product, while Health Canada works to #x27;attack the rules that authorize the sale of the sachets in convenience stores and gas stations.

Ottawa approved the sachets – produced by cigarette maker Imperial Tobacco under the Zonnic brand – as a product intended to help smokers quit.

Zonnic does not contain tobacco and, because the pouches contain less than four milligrams of nicotine each and are not inhaled, they do not fall under current federal or provincial tobacco or vaping legislation. They can therefore be consumed by minors.

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In British Columbia, you must be 19 years or older to purchase vaping products or tobacco.< /p>Open in full screen mode

Health Canada emphasizes that a sachet containing 4 milligrams or less of nicotine is considered a nicotine product natural health.

In November 2023, Federal Health Minister Mark Holland said regulators had been duped and vowed to close the loophole that allowed Zonnic to be sold openly.

We can ask very serious questions about what the tobacco industry is doing and its intentions. It appears their intention is to get more young people addicted to nicotine, which is disgusting, Mr. Holland said at the time.

Colette Lees, consumer liaison officer with the Surrey School District, said the appeal of flavored nicotine products presented as harmless alternatives to smoking has proven to be a huge challenge for young people, who are often unaware of the addictive nature of these products.

The Canadian Cancer Society applauded this decision. We applaud the British Columbia government for ending the tobacco industry's marketing strategies aimed at addicting a new generation of young people to nicotine, said Charles Aruliah of the Society Cancer Society, in a press release.

With information from The Canadian Press and Karin Larsen

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