Legislation restricting the sale and use of both e-cigarettes and flavoured tobacco was tabled by the P.E.I. government Tuesday.
The move follows through on a commitment made by all four party leaders during the recent provincial election campaign.
Under the new legislation, e-cigarettes would be treated much the same as regular tobacco products, says Health Minister Doug Currie:
- Their use would be restricted to areas where smoking is already allowed.
- They must be kept out of view in retail stores.
- Selling to minors would be prohibited.
And under the legislation, vapour from an e-cigarette would be considered the same as second-hand smoke.
"They'll be treated the exact same as normal tobacco products. They'll be restricted," said Currie.
"If you look at post-secondary institutions, for example, like Holland College, they have already implemented this on their premises. So these are positive steps forward."
Outright ban on flavoured tobacco products
The province is also laying the groundwork for an outright ban on the sale of flavoured tobacco products.
"Surveys have been done here in Prince Edward Island and across Canada that show the majority of young people who are smoking, started smoking by using flavoured tobacco products, like cherry-flavoured chewing tobacco or chocolate-flavoured cigarillos," said Claire Nantes, the Canadian Cancer Society, P.E.I. division, prevention promotions co-ordinator.
"So we are pleased that there's going to be complete ban on these."
There are details yet to be worked out, such as whether the flavoured tobacco ban would cover menthol cigarettes.
Those specifics will be drawn up later in regulations.
When a flavoured tobacco ban was introduced recently in Nova Scotia it was opposed by convenience store owners who complained the government moved too quickly, and who also said the move would drive some cigarette sales underground.
Currie says the government will consult with store owners and groups such as the Canadian Cancer Society.
But he says he's pursuing an aggressive timeline for implementation of P.E.I.'s ban, though there's no date set, and the required legislation still has to be passed in the House.