Advocates for a smoke-free British Columbia

E-cigarettes

While in Canada it is illegal to market e-cigarettes as a quit aid or to sell e-cigarettes with nicotine-containing cartridges, they are gaining popularity, and can be easily obtained online or under the table.

On September 1, 2016, the government's new Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act came into effect, replacing the old Tobacco Control Act and Regulations. Most of the changes relate to the sale, display, promotion and use of vapour products/electronic cigarettes.

Click here to read how the new province-wide legislation protects us from second-hand smoke and e-cigarettes.

  • ISSUE

    Aggressive U.S. marketing including use of celebrity and medical spokespeople as well as lifestyle advertising is influencing Canadians. E-cigarettes are portrayed as safe and a viable cessation tools similar to quit medication and nicotine replacement therapies.
  • CHALLENGE

    While e-cigarettes may be marketed as a safer alternative to conventional tobacco products and as an aid to quitting smoking, these products may pose risks such as nicotine poisoning and addiction. Nicotine is a highly addictive and toxic substance, and the inhalation of propylene glycol is a known irritant.
  • RECOMMENDATIONS

    Until more research is available on the pros and cons of e-cigarette use as a smoking cessation tool, and safety regulations are in place, we congratulate the BC government for taking a cautionary position and 1) Banning the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to those under 19 years of age and 2) Banning e-cigarette use in places where tobacco use is also banned.

    According to the March 5, 2015 announcement, the legislation will be introduced this spring and the exact date it will be brought into force is currently to be determined. Businesses and organizations will need some time to prepare for this legislation and government anticipates announcing the date of implementation soon.

    Together, these amendments under the new name ‘Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act’ serve to reinforce a commitment to protecting youth, building a smoke-free British Columbia and add to government’s extensive resources and supports to help British Columbians quit smoking.


     

Key Points
  • E-cigarettes are not regulated.

    We cannot be sure if they are safe for use or not.

  • Inadequate research

    Inadequate research currently exists to support e-cigarette use as a smoking cessation tool.

  • Re-normalization

    E-cigarette popularity risks making smoking behavior normal again.

  • Youth target
    The availability of candy-flavoured e-cigarettes is popularizing use, particularly with youth.