‘Stay the hell away from our kids’: Health Minister, Ajax MP warns big tobacco about nicotine pouches

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Published March 21, 2024 at 1:06 pm

Mark Holland
Health Minister Mark Holland is promising a major crackdown on nicotine pouches, which he says are being marketed to children. Holland speaks to reporters in the Foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

OTTAWA — Health Minister Mark Holland is promising a major crackdown on nicotine pouches, which he says are being marketed to children.

Holland accuses Imperial Tobacco of exploiting a loophole to get Health Canada approval for its oral nicotine patch by branding it as an aid to quit smoking.

He charges that the product is now being used to hook a new generation on nicotine.

Holland has written to provinces about his plans to restrict access to the product, called Zonnic, as well as the flavours and marketing that can be used.

Imperial Tobacco asserts it has not exploited any loopholes to get Zonnic on the market, saying it simply applied to Health Canada and got approval.

The company says it is open to talking about the restrictions Holland raised, but those changes should apply to all products used to quit smoking.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2024.

 

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