Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic Cigarettes are a new product to the market that have been increasing in popularity. Health Canada does not permit these devices to be sold in the country if they contain nicotine, however many people still use them as an alternative to smoking. In 2016 the Newfoundland and Labrador Government introduced and passed ammendments to the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act which regulated e-cigarettes in the same way that "regular" cigarettes are sold in the province. E-cigarettes are not to be used in enclosed public spaces, sold to anyone under the age of 19, and starting in 2017, are to be kept in hidden displays in retail establishements.

The National Non-Smokers Rights Association (NSRA) has developed some very good informational material on these devices. According to their website:

An electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, is a cylindrical device made of stainless steel or plastic that mimics a cigarette in terms of its appearance and use and sometimes taste, but with a critical distinction—it does not contain tobacco.

The e-cigarette controversy comes down to two opposing views. Proponents believe that the e-cigarette represents a clean drug delivery device that can satisfy smokers’ addiction to both nicotine and smoking behaviours (the physical sensations of handling the cigarette and inhaling smoke) and thus greatly reduce their risk of disease and death. Proponents also emphasize that even though e-cigarettes may not have undergone rigorous scientific testing, they cannot be as harmful as cigarettes, since with cigarettes, it is the mode of nicotine delivery—the tobacco smoke—that is responsible for most of the disease not the tobacco itself or the nicotine in it.

Those opposed believe that e-cigarettes should be treated like other therapeutic products containing nicotine; that is, their sale should not be permitted until they have undergone clinical trials to prove their safety and their efficacy in helping smokers quit. Opponents fear that the widespread promotion and use of e-cigarettes will result in dual use (of electronic and real cigarettes)—rather than increased quitting—and will undermine efforts to denormalize smoking. Opponents are also concerned that as novelty gadgets with perceived low risk, e-cigarettes may be attractive to youth and may lead to nicotine addiction and subsequent tobacco use.

In August 2014 the World Health Organization (WHO), released a report on the regulation of E-Cigarettes. It explains that while additional research is needed on multiple areas of e-cigarette use, regulations are required now to address health concerns caused by these devices.

In keeping with these positions, until further research is conducted on these devices ACT is unable to endorse their use. ACT's official position is that these electronic cigarettes need to be regulated and included in all no-smoking policies and legislation.

Some policy makers are already moving towards including e-cigarettes into their no-smoking policies. In April 2014, the goverments of New York City and Chicago outright banned restaurant and bar patrons from “lighting up” their electronic cigarettes inside the establishments.

Provincial/Territorial E-Cigarette Legislation in Canada.

Possible Dangers of E-Cigarettes

New Research on Health Risks Associated with E-Cigarettes!

E-Cigarettes linked to incurable lung disease

E-Cigarettes and childhood poisonings

Other NSRA Resources:

The New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition has developed a one-page handout on the issue of E-Cigarettes.