To the editor,
Health and Wellness Minster Leo Glavineâ€™s Jan. 16 announcement to regulate e-cigarettes is a necessary step to protect the health of Nova Scotians.
E-cigarette popularity and sales have skyrocketed in the last couple of years, with a growing number of Nova Scotians trying the product. Currently in our province people are using the product in hospitals, public places and workplaces where smoking is banned. As a province we need to make sure that weâ€™re not renormalizing smoking and exposing Nova Scotians to a potentially unsafe product.
E-cigarettes, which heat liquid to turn it into vapour, can contain flavouring, propylene glycol, glycerin, and other chemicals. Although itâ€™s illegal to sell e-cigarettes containing nicotine or nicotine cartridges in Canada, some products being sold in Nova Scotia do contain nicotine in addition to other chemicals.
E-cigarette proponents state that e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking. However, this has not been scientifically proven. It is impossible to determine what chemicals are in e-cigarettes as they have not been submitted to Health Canada for consumer product safety testing. So people donâ€™t know if what they are buying is safe to use, nor how likely it is to help them reduce or stop using tobacco products.
Until more is known about the safety of these devices and the vapour they produce we need regulations to protect the health of Nova Scotians. As the coalition committed to reducing tobacco use in the province, we commend Minster Glavine for moving forward with regulations that will protect youth, limit marketing, and restrict where e-cigarettes can be used.
For more information about e-cigarettes visit SFNS E-cigarette Q&A
President, Smoke-Free Nova Scotia