A new law in Ontario now prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 19, thereby making e-cig sales just as restricted as regular cigarettes.
Additionally, it is now illegal to smoke e-cigarettes in public places where smoking has been prohibited under Canadian federal law.
The official legislation is called the Making Healthier Choices Act, and it addressed several health issues, including the concern that more teens have taken up smoking as e-cigarettes have become more accessible.
In the U.S., e-cigs have become popular alternatives to smoking regular tobacco — between 2008 and 2012, sales of e-cigarettes increase from 50,000 to 3.5 million. The trend hasn’t caught on quite so quickly in Canada, but Canadian officials have been much quicker to address concerns over whether e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as regular tobacco products.
Although many smokers also use e-cigarettes as a way to wean themselves off a nicotine addiction, health officials have expressed concerns that too many teens are starting to take up smoking with e-cigs because they believe that these devices are harmless (or, at the very least, less harmful than regular cigarettes).
The Toronto Sun also reports that beginning on January 1, 2016, businesses will not be allowed to sell tobacco products created with “kid” flavors, like grape and cherry, because officials believe that these flavors encourage teens and young adults to take up smoking.
Associate Health Minister Dipika Damerla had also stated that the Canadian government may ban menthol cigarettes as well, but it must do so before January 1, 2018.