Toronto Considers Electronic Cigarette Ban

Toronto Considers Electronic Cigarette Ban

By Bryan Le 08/13/14

The city's Medical Officer of Health is attempting to stop e-cigarette smoking wherever cigarette use is also banned.

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Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David McKeown, is moving to ban the use of electronic cigarettes wherever cigarettes are also currently banned. 

“There are possible health risks associated with exposure to second-hand vapor,” wrote McKeown in a report that will be considered by the Board of Health on Monday.

The Toronto Public Health Board report said they reviewed “available evidence on e-cigarette use, safety, health effects, and potential as a cessation aid,” and felt there were concerns on the “impact on youth smoking initiation, and potential to normalize smoking behavior and undermine existing tobacco control legislation.”

To that end, McKeown said that the city should treat electronic cigarette smoking the same as traditional cigarette smoking, meaning no e-cigarettes near buildings, in parks, and restaurant patios.

Not everyone, however, has jumped on board with McKeown's proposed measure. “E-cigarettes produce some odor, but I’m not aware of any noxious effects,” said James Long, an 89 year old clinical forensic psychologist and part-owner of an e-cigarette company.

E-cigarette user Nicole Rogerson understood McKeown's concerns, but wanted lawmakers to believe there aren't health risks associated with secondhand e-smoke. “You’re just giving off the same vapor as clubs use in their smoke machines. I know it’s not unhealthy. It’s not putting any toxins in the air, like smoking a cigarette would.”

Other cities in Ontario have already placed their own bans in place, while the Toronto Transit Commission is considering banning e-cigarette use on its properties in the fall.