The City of Calgary will study the effect of electronic cigarettes and look at the possibility of regulation.

Council passed a motion eight to six in favour of looking at the new devices.

Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart introduced the motion.

“I've had a few complaints with people smoking these things — or I guess that’s the wrong word, 'inhaling' these vapours — that we don't know what they contain because there's no regulation around e-cigarettes."

Right now many Calgary bars and restaurants allow customers to use the devices indoors.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that use a liquid-filled cartridge that can contain mint, vanilla or other flavourings. The contents are vaporized into a mist that is breathed into the lungs. Some cartridges contain nicotine but are not approved for sale in Canada, so have to be ordered online.

'What are you doing?'

Colleen Kahut-Seminuk says she uses her electronic cigarettes around the city.

"We were actually at the Jubliee Auditorium last weekend and we were using it there and the looks we were getting were a bit off, double-taking, looking, you know, ‘What are you doing?’"

Alexander Sarvucci, the manager of VapeWorld — a store on 17th Avenue S.W. — uses e-cigarettes.

"They shouldn't treat us like smokers because we're not smokers — we're vapers," he says. 

"It doesn't leave harmful [inhalants] in the air or stuff like that, like how a cigarette would, you know the smoke you can get the second hand smoke, there's no such thing as ‘second-hand vapor.'”

Many city governments, like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, have banned indoor "vaping."

City staff will come back with a report on e-cigarettes in September.