Regulations on Electronic Cigarettes Put On the Fast Track

Nova Scotia set to introduce legislation as early as Thursday

New regulations concerning electronic cigarettes will be passed into law as soon as possible, says the Nova Scotia government. Proponents of electronic cigarettes say the devices are healthier than traditional cigarettes since they deliver nicotine as a vapor. New e-cigarette stores have opened in Halifax and New Glasgow since August. Nova Scotia’s Health Minister Leo Glavine is worried about the trend. “The e-cigarette does have disturbing elements to it,” he says.

The province does have smoking bans but currently e-cigarettes are not covered under the laws. Glavine is worried that after years of manipulating public opinion, lighting up will be acceptable again. “Is this the very beginnings of really undermining a whole public atmosphere that is truly smoke-free?” he asks. “I think the potential of a slide backward here could come about. We will do everything as a department of health and I, as minister, to make sure we don’t regress.”

Craig Sievert, from Halifax, says he is staying away from the devices for now. Since the 1870s, his family has been in the tobacco business. “If it’s controlled by the government or it’s approved by Health Canada, fine, we’ll sell it. I don’t want to get involved with it unless it’s actually allowed,” he says.

Smoking electronic cigarettes is a lot cheaper than traditional cigarettes. It costs $20 for a bottle of nicotine syrup that is the equivalent of three cartons of regular cigarettes at $250. E-cigarettes are not approved for sale by Health Canada so they fall into a legal grey area. Glavine hopes to introduce e-cigarette regulations in the legislature session that starts on Thursday or in the spring. … At the very latest, the health minister says.

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