If you grew up reading about the adventures of Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, you probably always imagined Prince Edward Island as the perfect place to call home. While it might sound dreamy, the province is probably not a great spot to live if you enjoy using electronic cigarettes. Starting on September 1, Prince Edward Island will outlaw ecigs in all places where smoking is already prohibited. Public health authorities are recommending other changes that could impact vapers in the fall. Before the end of the year, ecigarette advertising will also be restricted and vaping devices will have to be hidden behind the counter at convenience stores. Authorities are basically treating ecigs the same as conventional tobacco products.
Joe Bradley, the Environmental Health Manager for Prince Edward Island, said restrictions are needed to keep people safe. “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 said that we don’t know enough about vaping yet to determine how it could impact public health. “It’s really unknown. When any product is heated there’s a chemical change, and we’re not really sure,” he explained.
Canadian lawmakers are still trying to determine the best approach for regulating electronic cigarettes. If a company wanted to receive official government approval, the process would definitely be time consuming and probably very expensive. “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,” a spokesperson said.
Authorities are also considering a ban on flavored 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.” Any new bans on tobacco won’t be finalized until sometime in early 2016.
Are you frustrated to hear that another place is legislating ecigarettes as tobacco products? Is Prince Edward Island making a mistake with these new restrictions?