What are E-Cigarettes?
E-cigarettes, also known as vaporizers or ‘vapes’ are electronic devices that when used mimic the action of smoking. They are not a tobacco product and therefore do not combust or burn tobacco like regular cigarettes. They also do not produce second-hand smoke, but rather a vapour.
There are three generations of e-cigarettes.
- The first generation also known as a ‘cigalike’ looks like a real cigarette. It tends to be white and has a red light on the end that mimics the burning end of a tobacco cigarette.
- Second and third generation e-cigarettes don’t look like a real cigarette at all. They are known as ‘tanks’ or ‘mods’ and are much larger in appearance.
- All three generations or types contain a battery, an atomizer (which heats and vaporizes the liquid) and a cartridge that contains propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, chemical flavourings, water, and sometimes nicotine. Some are disposable while others are rechargeable. The Non-Smokers Rights Association has more information on e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are an emerging trend in Ontario. Concerns have been raised about the potential negative health effects of e-cigarettes.
At this point in time, there are many unanswered questions about e-cigarettes and the impact on public health. Research is being conducted by the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit to better understand e-cigarettes.
In 2014, Elgin St. Thomas Public Health passed a Position Statement on Electronic Cigarettes. For more information about our current position on this topic, please read this statement. Elgin St. Thomas Public Health continues to read up on the latest research that is made available about these devices and will monitor and share that information with the public accordingly. You may also wish to read this factsheet from the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association.
Electronic Cigarette Act
On January 1, 2016 the Province of Ontario made it illegal to sell or supply (i.e., give) e-cigarettes and component parts (i.e., battery, atomizer) to anyone under the age of 19.
Retailers and proprietors are required to post Post Signs in accordance with the Making Healthier Choices Act, 2015.
Signs can be picked up at Elgin St. Thomas Public Health located at 1230 Talbot Street in St. Thomas. If you have questions about the legislation, please contact ESTPH to speak to a Tobacco Enforcement Officer.
Please click on the image below for a printable version.
News Update: March 10, 2016
On March 10, 2016, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care released a public consultation paper to obtain feedback and comments to inform the next phase of legislation.
Once the next phase has been determined, Elgin St. Thomas Public Health will be notifying workplaces, public places and the general public as to what the new laws are and how to comply with them. For more information visit www.ontario.ca/e-cigarettes