Edmonton

City e-cigarette ban troubling to nicotine addicts

A city ban on electronic cigarettes is not sitting well with former smokers who use the devices to tear themselves away from nicotine.

City council to debate rolling electronic cigarettes into tobacco ban next week

Edmonton city council will debate a ban on electronic cigarettes next week. (CBC)

A city ban on electronic cigarettes is not sitting well with former smokers who use e-cigs to ease themselves away from tobacco.

The smokeless cigarettes are currently unregulated, but that could change if city councillors vote to roll them in with tobacco products, something they will debate next week.

Erin Woodford quit smoking 11 weeks ago. She calls e-cigarettes her only help.

"I've tried the pills, I tried the patch, I tried the gum, I tried cold turkey," she said.

Then she turned to electronic cigarettes.

"For the very first time ... I felt like it was an achievable goal."

Woodford is asking city councillors not to lump e-cigarettes in with tobacco products under a smoking ban.

Forcing e-cigarettes users outdoors to stand with tobacco smokers would defeat the purpose, she said.

"I don't want to be forced to stand with second hand smoke anymore than anyone else does."

Kayla Atkey, with Smoke Free Alberta, said e-cigarettes mimic smoking and therefore should not be allowed in public places.

"The use of e-cigarettes in public has the potential to re-normalize smoking in society," she said.

MacEwan University recently restricted the use of electronic cigarettes to designated smoking areas on campus, citing the World Health Organization's opinion that the devices expose both smokers and non-smokers to nicotine and other toxins.

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