Government introduced amendments today, Oct. 24, to regulate e-cigarettes, waterpipes and flavoured tobacco under the province's tobacco legislation.
Mason Campbell, left, and Laurel MacLeod use e-cigarettes at The End Vapour Shop in downtown New Glasgow. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS
"The health and safety of Nova Scotians, especially our youth, is this government's number one priority," said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. "We've worked hard to shift from a smoking culture toward a smoke-free culture in Nova Scotia. We do not want to lose ground."
The province argues that there is emerging evidence of health risks from using e-cigarettes, especially for young people.
"Research shows the health risks from using waterpipes are similar to using other types of tobacco," read a release from the Department of Health. "E-cigarettes, waterpipes and flavoured tobacco are all increasing in popularity among young Canadians, and encouraging them to try other tobacco products."
Vendours of e-cigarettes and associated products in Pictou County have argued the decision is more political than based on research. Shai Connors of The End Vapour Shop told The News in January that vaping is specifically geared towards people who want a healthier alternative to smoking.
Brad Miller of Kickin' Ash Vape Shop noted that most respectable vape shops don't sell to persons under the age of 19.
The amendments will change the definition of smoke in the Smoke-free Places Act to address second-hand smoke from waterpipes and vapour from e-cigarettes, prohibiting their use in indoor public places.
The definition of tobacco will be changed in the Tobacco Access Act to treat e-cigarettes like tobacco cigarettes. This change will restrict vendors from selling e-cigarettes to those younger than 19, and from displaying, advertising or promoting e-cigarettes.
The sale of flavoured tobacco will be banned under the Tobacco Access Act, including the flavoured juice often used in e-cigarettes. A regulation under the act will exempt menthol tobacco.
Regulatory officers will be able to issue summary offence tickets to those selling e-cigarettes or tobacco to a minor.