Change is in the air around how the Manitoba Government regulates electronic cigarettes.
The legislative changes, which go into effect Oct. 1, outlaw the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and set out new rules around how vape shops can advertise and market their products.
They'll also mean the use of e-cigarettes—known as vaping—will be banned in enclosed public spaces and other places where smoking is already prohibited.
"I think this is a step in the right direction," said Neil Johnston, director of health initiatives with the Manitoba Lung Association. "We'd like to see people abstain from vaping, but realizing it is a thing, it needs to be managed responsibly and with an eye on reducing the impact on health."
The new rules place restrictions on the display, advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes and vapour products, changes Johnston says were sorely needed.
"It brings some clarity to the vending side of things for vape products, which has been absent until now—it's basically been whatever anybody wants to do in a retail environment," he said. "This does allow vaping products to be sold to the public but it's going to be reasonably well controlled—it won't be the wild west of vape vending and retailing."
The new regulations don't bother Jordan Vedoya, who co-owns Winnipeg's Fat Panda Vape shops.
He said government worked with stakeholders, including him, while writing the legislative changes, and he says he's in favour of the new rules.
"I have no problem with this kind of regulation amendment," said Vedoya. "I think it's fair."
Businesses that meet the definition of a vapour product shop, like Fat Panda, will still be allowed to let customers test and sample products in-store for the purpose of a sale.