Electronic cigarettes, popularly known as e-cigarettes, will be banned from Winnipeg's largest school division.

Trustees with the Winnipeg School Division voted on Monday to ban the use of e-cigarettes on school property.

The idea to ban e-cigarettes came from outgoing trustee Anthony Ramos, who is running for city council in the Point Douglas ward this month.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that turn liquid-filled cartridges into vapour.

They have been used by some as an alternative to smoking, although Health Canada prohibits e-cigarettes that contain nicotine.

Prior to the vote, some trustees wondered if the division's smoke-free environment policy or its code of conduct would already ban e-cigarette use, also known as "vaping."

"We have a policy that says no smoking in our schools. That covers any kind of smoking," chief superintendent Pauline Clarke said at the meeting.

But trustee Mike Babinsky said he was shocked to see students openly saying they use e-cigarettes at school.

A motion to refer the ban to the school division's policy committee for further study was defeated.

Trustees then voted unanimously in favour of the ban — clearing the air on the issue, so to speak.

"No smoking is allowed, period, in any device, in any form whatsoever," Ramos said after the meeting.

E-cigarettes are not restricted in Manitoba, leaving it up to individual establishments to set their own rules. For example, Red River College restricts vaping to designated smoking areas only.

Last week, Vancouver city councillors voted to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public spaces and the sale of the devices to minors. Jurisdictions in Ontario and Alberta have also imposed bans.

Shops in Winnipeg that sell e-cigarettes restrict sales to minors, but Ramos said more has to be done.

"There has been leadership around the country and for us to follow suit was the right thing to do," he said.