Brett Coleman hasn’t a problem keeping electronic cigarettes out of the public eye. But the manager of Butt Out and Vape in Barrie said the Ontario government shouldn’t control what goes on inside shops where the product is sold. “I agree with not using vaporizers in public places. It doesn’t need to happen. I would love to see exemptions for vape shops. People need to sample the product before they buy it.”
As of Jan 1, the province will begin enforcing rules around the use, sale, display, and promotion of e-cigarettes. You will not be able to activate the device anywhere traditional smoking is banned. Today, you can use e-cigarettes and sample e-liquid flavours inside shops before you make a purchase. This is illegal under the new legislation as it stands today, said Polina Osmerkina, spokesperson for Dipika Damerla, associate minister of Health and Long-Term Care. But the minister has suggested the regulations could “go back to the drawing board, so I can’t give you a definitive answer on that” Osmerkina said.
Kevin Reed, manager of Evape in Midland, said an in-store ban would “go way too far.” Retailers need to teach customers how to use the device properly. These are not like buying a pack of cigarettes. You need to understand how these operate. E-cigarettes, which contain lithium batteries, have been known to explode in untrained hands, Coleman said. “That’s not a trend I would like to see continue.”
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit tobacco program supervisor Martin Kuhn supports the new legislation and said people inside these retail outlets may not want to be exposed to the e-cigarette vapour. He compared it to the ban on smoking in restaurants due to the negative health affects on other customers and wait staff. “It’s likely vape is less harmful than second-hand tobacco smoke, but it’s still not a known thing” Kuhn said.
E-liquid contains four main ingredients: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine (optional) and flavouring. “The evidence is still out as to the health effects of the vapour that comes out of these devices” Kuhn said. But Coleman, who uses e-cigarettes himself, said it’s unfair to “lump us in” with tobacco smokers. “We are actively trying to get away from tobacco. We are trying to make a healthier lifestyle choice for not only ourselves, but people around us” Coleman said.
Lisa Fenik was at Butt Out and Vape last week trying new e-cigarette liquid flavours and picked one that tastes like cinnamon doughnut. A heavy smoker for more than 30 years, she quit in September after trying an e-cigarette. “I don’t think I’ll ever buy a pack of cigarettes again,” she said. Fenik said not being able to try an e-cigarette prior to purchase would be a deterrent for first-time users.
Coleman said the provincial government didn’t consider the benefits of switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes prior to passing the regulation. “They’re not prepared to look at the benefits of getting people off of tobacco, the healthcare cost savings in the long-run,” he said. Starting in the New Year, the health unit will use inspectors posing as shoppers to ensure e-cigarette retailers are in compliance with the new law, Kuhn said. Educational information will be provided to retailers prior to inspection. Kuhn estimates there are at least 400 e-cigarette retailers in Simcoe Muskoka. View full article
You can support Vapor Advocates of Ontario HERE
Sara Carson (05 December 2015) Ontario e-cigarette laws go ‘way too far,’ Barrie retailer says [online news]. Retrieved from http://ow.ly/VwTkt