Nfld. & Labrador

E-cigarette sale for minors ban called for by school councils

The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils issued a statement on Monday, calling on the provincial government to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

Calling for province to follow in the footsteps of Ontario

A provincial federation of school councils is calling for Newfoundland and Labrador to follow Ontario's lead, and treat e-cigarettes like real cigarettes. (The Associated Press)

The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils issued a statement on Monday, calling on the provincial government to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

Peter Whittle, president of the organization, said in a statement this province should follow Ontario.

On Monday, the Ontario government said it would restrict the use of e-cigarettes, treating them much the same as real cigarettes, as well as banning the purchase of e-cigarettes for anyone under 19.

"Young people who have learned over the last few years that smoking is not cool are possibly going to pick this up, and the impact on youth smoking could be an initiation, at least an imitation, and the potential to normalize smoking behaviour and undermining the existing tobacco control legislation," Whittle told CBC News.

Earlier on Monday, Whittle said in a statement e-cigarettes could potentially lead to more youth smoking.

"Right now, the sale to minors is a grey area. That needs to change," Whittle said in the statement.

In the release, the federation said Health Canada has refused approval for the sale or import of liquid refills containing nicotine, but those items are available "under the counter" in the province.

Whittle added the lack of federal or provincial regulations around the sale and use of e-cigarettes makes policing the issue "like the wild-west."

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