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Prince Edward Island Introduces New Restrictions on Ecigarettes

Beginning on September 1, Prince Edward Island will ban electronic cigarettes in all areas where smoking is prohibited. This is the first of several changes that will take place in vaping legislation for the province. In October, authorities plan to restrict advertising and visibility of ecigs in retail stores. Electronic smoking devices will basically be treated equally with tobacco products with the same bans and restrictions.

Prince Edward Island’s Environmental Health Manager, Joe Bradley, believes that ecigs need to be carefully regulated to insure safety. “The labels on these devices does not necessarily reflect what actually is contained in the juice that’s used in the electronic device,” he said. Bradley believes that we need more research to truly understand the potential risks of vaping. “It’s really unknown. When any product is heated there’s a chemical change, and we’re not really sure,” he explained.

So far, Health Canada has not approved any ecigs. A spokesperson for the Public Health Agency said authorities are still determining how to regulate ecigs. In order to have a device approved, the process would be grueling. “A company would have to provide evidence of safety, quality and effectiveness in order to have its product authorized. Without this scientific evidence, Health Canada continues to advise Canadians, especially youth, against the use of these products,” the spokesperson said.

Lawmakers on Prince Edward Island are also debating new flavor restrictions for tobacco products. “What the changes to the legislation have allowed is the province could regulate the sale of flavored tobacco products in regulation,” Bradley explained. “What the department is proposing to do is to go out to public consultation, give the public opportunity to respond what they feel the restriction should look like.” Bradley said it would most likely be early next year before any tobacco flavors are officially banned.

Do you think Prince Edward Island’s approach to ecigs is too harsh? Should vaping devices be treated as tobacco products?

Electronic Cigarettes • April 5, 2017

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