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Vaping and ecigarettes

The ingredients and quality of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette or ecigarette) products are not regulated or controlled, putting people who use e-cigarettes at an unknown risk. E-cigarettes that contain nicotine are not approved for sale in Canada.

What is an electronic cigarette or e-cigarette?

An e-cigarette is a battery-operated device that changes a liquid chemical, e-juice, into a vapour that can be inhaled. People often call this vaping. The e-juice contains propylene glycol, flavoring and other additives that come in a refillable container, or an e-cartridge. E-juice does not contain tobacco, however, most of these products contain nicotine which is the addictive substance found in cigarettes.

What are the concerns with e-cigarettes?

Health risks

More studies are needed to determine the risks of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes do not produce harmful tobacco smoke; however, the nicotine and other chemicals they may possess can be harmful.

  • Any product containing nicotine is addictive
  • Health risks associated with the second-hand vapour from e-cigarettes are unknown. Second-hand vapour should be avoided, especially by those with breathing conditions, pregnant women, nursing mothers, children and the elderly. Some bottles of e-juice contain enough nicotine to cause serious harm to a child, adult or animal
  • E-cigarettes are being used to inhale other harmful substances such as marijuana, weight loss supplements and other drugs

Regulation and quality control

  • Currently, there is no regulation or quality control over what is in e-cigarettes and related products. As a result, e-cigarettes with nicotine are not legal or approved for sale in Canada
  • Proper manufacturing, packaging and labelling standards are needed for e-cigarettes, e-cartridges and e-juice to ensure nicotine levels and ingredients are safe, correct and easy for the user to understand

Vaping in public spaces

  • E-cigarettes are often being used in public places, especially in places where smoking is not permitted, increasing exposure to second-hand vapour which may have health risks
  • Public use of e-cigarettes may make smoking appear more common and socially acceptable, weakening the efforts of tobacco law and policy, and provide a visual trigger to ex-smokers causing relapse
  • Vaping may create a new entry point to smoking and the use of other substances among youth and young adults. Increased marketing, popularity and use in public places could influence youth uptake

Can e-cigarettes help you quit smoking?

More research is needed on the use of e-cigarettes as a quit smoking aid. To be effective as a quit smoking aid, a consistent and safe dose of nicotine needs to be delivered to the user. Because e-cigarettes are currently unregulated, the amount of nicotine is not the same in each product. There is also a risk that smokers may use both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes rather than quit smoking. For more information on recommended strategies for quitting smoking, visit Quitting Smoking.

The Electronic Cigarettes Act (ECA)

The Ontario Government introduced new legislation called the Electronic Cigarettes Act (ECA). Effective January 1, 2016, it is illegal to sell or supply electronic cigarettes and component parts, such as batteries or atomizers, to anyone under 19 years of age.

Other bans to be included in the ECA include:

  • The display and promotion of e-cigarettes
  • The sale of e-cigarettes in places where the sale of tobacco is prohibited
  • The use of e-cigarettes in places where smoking tobacco is prohibited such as workplace and other enclosed public places
  • The sale of flavoured electronic cigarettes


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