The United States seem to lead the way in knee jerk reactions and ironically take the moral high ground where health concerns are involved. Canada on the other hand seems to take a more common sense approach.
Kathleen Wynne the premier of Ontario finally made a statement on Tuesday saying she would not rush into making a decision on whether or not to ban electronic cigarettes in public areas where tobacco smoking had already been banned.
Even though she stressed that her government would look into the issue while speaking at a conference which brought together Ontario municipalities, she also appealed to the federal government to do the same.
Toronto’s board of health on the other hand is already reaching out to the province to step in, or it intends to start looking at its own restrictions within the city.
The board would like the province to officially make the ban of sales of all flavoured electronic cigarette products, sale of all battery operated cigarettes as well as displays in stores to anyone under the age of 19.
Electronic cigarettes are unique in the sense that they do not contain tobacco. They produce vapour instead of smoke, which according to proponents of e cigarettes makes it very easy for smokers to control their addiction to smoking.
Toronto’s medical office of health is also said to be advocating for the restriction owing to the possible health risks which are linked to direct exposure to second hand vapour.
There are a few public health advocates who have also openly shown their concern claiming that such a move stands to help normalise cigarette smoking amongst minors. Overtime this stands to give a dangerous habit which is widely restricted a completely new image.
I completely understand the apprehension about all that especially if there was a move to re-normalise smoking said Wynne. It is also likely to be a major problem from my perspective. She stressed that the main point she was trying to drive home was: â€œbeing clear on what exactly are the dangers and what are the safety risks.”
It is heartening to see a governent offical using her common sense in this way. Many tests have proved that electronic cigarettes are far less harmful than tobacco. Calling on a blanket ban of e cigarette products is only going to give people more reasons to smoke tobacco, and hinder the e cigarette industry. It is agreed that e cigarettes should not be pushed on to children, but common sense will say that if a child wants to start smoking then they will smoke tobacco, or anything else that is at hand. Electronic cigarettes are a far safer alternative to tobacco in many ways.
This is a good sign coming from Canada that common sense may indeed prevail. Now if only their American neighbours could take a similar view, then we may get somewhere in the tobacco/e cigarette debate.
Author: Kevin Ewbank
Avid vaper & co-founder of SmokShop