E-liquid product labels: the good, the bad, and the ugly
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University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Canada
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A227
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E-liquid products have exploded in Canada over the last number of years. Although current federal regulations apply to some aspects of these products (eg, Made in Canada designation, net quantity, French/English text), there are a number of other packaging elements that are not covered by existing regulations. The purpose of this research was to enumerate what choices are being made on e-liquid packaging by manufacturers, surveille compliance with existing regulations, and to inform governments about packaging elements that could benefit from strengthened regulations.

A sample of 90 e-liquid products were obtained from across 5 Canadian provinces, representing 49 unique manufacturers/distributors. This included 26 non-nicotine products and 64 nicotine products. All e-liquid containers were examined for type of information presented on product packaging including branding, promotional elements, claims, usage instructions, and warnings.

Diverse labeling practices among manufacturers were observed. Of the 90 samples examined, 62 were highly legible, 21 were of moderate legibility and 7 were low. Only 62% of the products had English and French text, with English predominant. All but one sample included an ingredient list. However, 11% of samples listed quantity of nicotine as separate from the ingredient list. 19% listed nicotine quantity with a handwritten mark. 6% of sample had no text warning related to children (keep out of reach of children). 10% of samples did not include specific age-restrictive text. Only 72% of sample included a danger/caution image (skull, exclamation mark!).

Labeling practices among our sample of e-liquid products varied widely, with some manufacturers having strong practices, whereas others falling well short. Future labeling regulations that consider the main elements described in this study will have the potential to provide consumers of e-liquid products with pertinent information they need to make informed purchase decisions.

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