Premier Kathleen Wynne said Tuesday she won’t rush into a decision on whether to ban electronic cigarettes in areas where smoking is already off-limits.
Her government will look into the issue, as should the federal government, she said after speaking at a conference of Ontario municipalities.
“I think there’s research that needs to be done,” Wynne said. “I don’t think we have enough information yet.”
Toronto’s board of health is calling on the province to step in by February or it will start looking at its own restrictions within the city.
It wants the province to ban sales of flavoured e-cigarette products, displays in retail stores and selling the battery-operated cigarettes to those under the age of 19.
E-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco and produce vapour instead of smoke, which proponents say helps smokers kick their habit.
But Toronto’s medical officer of health is advocating for the restrictions due to “possible health risks associated with exposure to second-hand vapour.”
Some public health advocates say they’re concerned that it’s also “normalizing” cigarette smoking for minors, giving a dangerous habit that’s widely restricted a whole new image.
“I understand the apprehension about that, if there were a move to re-normalize smoking,” Wynne said.
“That would be real problem from my perspective. It’s just we have to be clear exactly what the dangers are and what the safety risks are. That’s all I’m saying.”