E-cigarette teen popularity prompts concerns

Parents and experts express concern about the rising popularity of electronic cigarettes with teens, since the product's effects on people's health are unknown.

Parents say Health Canada not doing enough with cigarette-like product

E-cigarettes have been gaining in popularity with teenagers. (Radio-Canada)

Parents and experts are expressing concerns about the rising popularity of electronic cigarettes with teenagers since the product's health effects are still unknown.

The electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, have been increasingly present in Quebec corner stores over the past year and are being seen as a possible gateway to smoking. The product makes steam similar to tobacco smoke.

Health Canada forbids the sale of e-cigarettes that contain nicotine, but authorizes the sale of the nicotine-free version of the product.

More parents have been coming forward with concerns that Health Canada is not doing enough to control the product. Health Canada has not issued any concerns or reports about e-cigarettes since 2009.

In the last report, the federal health department recommended Canadians not to buy e-cigarettes because they could "pose health risks." The department did state that these risks had not been fully evaluated.

Quebec's public health director also recommended that people steer clear from the pseudo-cigarettes with or without nicotine. A warning published in June shows that the health and social services department is working to find out more about the product, including its chemical compounds and their effects on people's health and possible safety issues when using the product.