The news of e-cigarette ban doesn't seem to have gone down too well with vaping advocates in Ontario. Hundreds of people marched on April 9 to Queen's Park to protest against the newly proposed ban on vaping in the Canadian province.
Vaping is the action of inhaling and exhaling vapor produced by a vaporizer in the form of an e-cigarette or similar device. The new legislation bans vaping in venues where regular tobacco smoking is already prohibited.
E-cigarettes apparently help curb the deadly habit of tobacco smoking from traditional paper rolled cigarettes. However, the pros and cons are still under heavy debate from experts.
Some health experts say e-cigarettes are a new and emerging health risk and are no better than the threat imposed by tobacco. "This is not a good thing. This is not something that is helping people quit. What it is doing is exposing people [to] unknown risks that may actually in some instances be worse than what we know of from traditional smoking." said Brett Belchetz, an emergency room doctor.
The protesters of the new rule, most of them carrying their vaporizer or e-cigarette, were seen waving signboards that read "Tobacco kills, vaping saves lives," "The constitution is on our side," "I quit smoking through vaping," and "Fix Bill 45," among others. The new rule is slated to be instated in July.
A law professor from University of Ottawa, David Sweanor, who was present at the rally and an advocate of e-cigarette usage, said the change will dampen the spirit of people who are looking to curb their smoking habit. "[They're] preventing people from using these products, finding out how it works. They're treating them just like cigarettes in terms of where they can be used. They simply are not like cigarettes," said Sweanor.
The people who have participated in the protest and held the rally are predominantly the ones who have been relying on e-cigarette or vaping as a tobacco cessation strategy. Others included shop owners who allow sampling of vaporizers, and whose business is at stake now.
The ban on e-cigarette and medical marijuana usage, wherever regular cigarettes are prohibited, will come in effect from July, according to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. "We have made a determination that smoking, whatever it is whether it's vaping, whether it's medical marijuana, whether it's cigarettes – that there should be restrictions on that. And so the rules will apply to marijuana, to medical marijuana, to vaping as they do to cigarettes." said Wynne.