The NL Federation of School Councils is concerned about the sale of flavoured e-cigarette products, displays in retail stores and the sale of battery-operated cigarettes to minors.
E-cigarettes don't contain tobacco and produce vapour instead of smoke, which some say helps smokers kick their habit but the unregulated sale of liquid nicotine refills, possible health risks associated with exposure to second-hand vapour and the glorying of smoking being a gateway for young children to become smokers is very concerning.
I would like to see a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes in areas where smoking is already off-limits and a ban on sales to children under the legal smoking age. There is not doubt that there is an impact on youth smoking initiation (and imitation) and the potential to normalize smoking
behaviour and undermine existing tobacco control legislation.
Health Canada has refused to approve the sale or import of devices or liquid refills containing nicotine but they are readily available under the counter in many places in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The provincial and federal governments needs to start taking this issue more seriously and putting regulations in place to regulate their manufacture, sale, promotion and display.
There has to be regulations put in place to regulate the maximum quantity/dosage of nicotine in e-cigarettes and require manufacturers to use child proof bottles for "nicotine juice".
As long as law enforcement and regulators continue to operate in a vacuum allowing importers and manufacturers to remain in a "grey area" we are undoing the anti-smoking and smoke free gains of the last decade.
There are also concern that these e-cigarettes
could pose health
risks to users and those exposed to the vapour. E-cigarette parts, liquid and vapour
may include variable levels of cancer-causing chemicals and harmful ingredients.
It is time to move before this gateway to nicotine addiction and smoking initiation gets a hold on our youth.