This past Saturday, December 5, 2015 saw hundreds of concerned citizens gathered outside Toronto’s Queen’s Park to protest Ontario’s Electronic Cigarette Act, which passed last May. Schedule 3 of Bill-45, which passed third reading with an incredible (to us, anyway) vote of 99-1, puts the same restrictions on the use and sale of e-cigarettes as tobacco products.
Yes, you read that correctly. Ontario has effectively placed e-cigarettes in the same category as tobacco products. The act regulates where and how e-cigs can be purchased, sold and vaped, and also prohibits vape shops from demonstrating the proper usage of said devices.
Vapor Advocates of Ontario
The protest rally was organized by a brand new group formed just last week, Vapor Advocates of Ontario. The organization, as well as vapers and vape shop owners, believe Bill-45 places unnecessary barricades in front of the many tobacco smokers who want a safe and relatively painless method of giving up the nasty habit. Shouts of “Vaping is not smoking!” and “The smoke-free Ontario Act has failed!” rang out as clouds of vapor floated over the lawns of Queen’s Park.
Disappointingly, The Canadian Cancer Society sits on the fence and says it’s difficult to know what chemicals and ingredients are in e-liquid, and what their long-term effects might be. Here’s an idea CCS … talk to National Health in the U.K. and ask them why they’re actually considering supplying e-cigarettes to tobacco smokers who want to make the transition.
Ex-smokers Speak Out
Two ex-smokers were interviewed at the ecigarette protest rally and both told similar stories of how vaping helped them transition away from tobacco cigarettes. These stories aren’t new to us. One woman, a smoker of 35 years, told the crowd she smoked her last cigarette while her starter kit battery was charging. When she had some technical problems with her e-cigarette, she visited a vape shop, where staff showed her the correct way to operate, clean and fill her device with e-liquid – which from now on cannot happen because retailers are now prohibited from demonstrating e-cigarettes inside their shops. Genius!
Another male at the protest rally, a, two-pack-a-day ex-smoker began vaping three years ago and has never looked back. He admitted he started vaping because he thought ‘it was neat,’ but soon discovered not only was he saving money, but he felt better physically. No kidding.
We’re probably preaching to the choir here, so if Bill-45 annoys you as much as it annoys us, contact Vapor Advocates of Ontario and write your MPP.
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