New legislation restricting the sale and use of e-cigarettes in B.C. is coming into effect on Sept. 1, the government has announced, but it won't apply to people vaping pot.
According to officials, the use of vapourizers is highest amongst young people, and the new rules aim to limit their access in the same way as tobacco.
The new rules include:
- Sales limited to adults aged 19 and above.
- No retail displays targeting youth.
- No retail advertising for e-cigarettes where youths can see it.
- No sales in public buildings.
- Use banned on all public and private school grounds, inside public spaces and in workplaces.
- Use banned on health authority properties, except in designated smoking and vaping areas.
Closeup of woman smoking e-cigarette and enjoying smoke. (Photo: Getty Stock)
Along with setting out rules limiting who can buy e-cigarettes and where they can be used, the legislation also defines what they are.
The new act defines an e-cigarette as a product or device, whether or not it resembles a cigarette, containing an electronic or battery-powered heating element capable of vapourizing an e-substance for inhalation or release into the air.
But the act also has two exemptions which means it won't apply to either medical marijuana or illegal cannabis products.
One exemption says it does not apply to "prescribed medical products."
The other exemption specifically excludes controlled substance listed in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada), which currently includes cannabis and all its derivatives.
Smoking marijuana with a vapourizer has become increasingly popular in recent years, in part because it is perceived to be healthier than inhaling smoke.
The new legislation also permits the use of tobacco on health authority properties for ceremonial use in traditional aboriginal cultural activity.Also on HuffPost:
Twenty percent of middle schoolers and 7.2 percent of high schooler e-cigarette users in the U.S. report never smoking cigarettes.
Early 2010 studies found that users got much lower levels of nicotine from e-cigarettes than from conventional cigarettes, but more recent studies show that experienced e-cigarette users can draw levels of nicotine from an e-cigarette that are similar to conventional cigarettes. Yet another study noted that the chosen e-cigarettes for the research malfunctioned for a third of participants. UCSF researchers say this indicates the need for stronger product standards and regulations.
To deliver nicotine, e-cigarettes create a spray of very fine particles that have yet to be studied in depth. "It is not clear whether the ultra-fine particles delivered by e-cigarettes have health effects and toxicity similar to the ambient fine particles generated by conventional cigarette smoke or secondhand smoke," wrote the researchers. But we do know that fine particulate matter from cigarettes and from air pollution are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and respiratory disease. And some research has found that the size and spray of fine particulate matter from e-cigarettes is just as great or greater than conventional cigarettes.
They're promoting the products as "harm reduction" for smokers, which allows them to protect their cigarette market while promoting a new product. Companies also using "grassroots" tactics to form seemingly independent smokers' rights groups, just like they did for cigarettes in the 1980s.
One clinical trial found that e-cigarettes was no more effective than the nicotine patch at helping people quit, and both cessation methods "produced very modest quit rates without counseling."