An electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, is a cylindrical device made of stainless steel or plastic that mimics a cigarette in terms of its appearance and use and sometimes taste, but with a critical distinction—it does not contain tobacco.

The e-cigarette controversy comes down to two opposing views. Proponents believe that the e-cigarette represents a clean drug delivery device that can satisfy smokers’ addiction to both nicotine and smoking behaviours (the physical sensations of handling the cigarette and inhaling smoke) and thus greatly reduce their risk of disease and death. Proponents also emphasize that even though e-cigarettes may not have undergone rigorous scientific testing, they cannot be as harmful as cigarettes, since with cigarettes, it is the mode of nicotine delivery—the tobacco smoke—that is responsible for most of the disease not the tobacco itself or the nicotine in it.

Those opposed believe that e-cigarettes should be treated like other therapeutic products containing nicotine; that is, their sale should not be permitted until they have undergone clinical trials to prove their safety and their efficacy in helping smokers quit. Opponents fear that the widespread promotion and use of e-cigarettes will result in dual use (of electronic and real cigarettes)—rather than increased quitting—and will undermine efforts to denormalize smoking. Opponents are also concerned that as novelty gadgets with perceived low risk, e-cigarettes may be attractive to youth and may lead to nicotine addiction and subsequent tobacco use.

April 9, 2018 E-Cigarette Research Update: March 2018
March 31, 2018 Provincial & Territorial E-Cigarette Legislation in Canada (March 2018)
March 16, 2018 Strengthening Ontario’s Smoking and Vaping Laws: Summary of Proposed Regulation under Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017
March 16, 2018 Proposals for the Regulation of Vaping Products
March 16, 2018 Recommended Amendments to Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
March 16, 2018 Next Generation Products in Canada: An Update on Heated Tobacco
March 15, 2018 Industry Update: Philip Morris International and Foundation for a Smoke-Free World
March 1, 2018 iQOS: Will This Really Change Everything?
April 6, 2017 E-Cigarette Update: Secondhand Vapour Toxicity and Health Effects
February 13, 2017 E-Cigarette Update: Bill S-5 A New Legislative Framework for E-Cigarettes in Canada
December 20, 2016 Provincial & Territorial E-Cigarette Legislation in Canada (December 2016)
October 11, 2016 E-Cigarettes: An Update
June 29, 2016 Provincial/Territorial E-Cigarette Legislation in Canada (June 2016)
March 29, 2016 E-Cigarettes: Current landscape
April 29, 2015 E-cigarettes fact sheet: Understanding the Potential Risks and Benefits
March 10, 2015 Vaping: Towards A Regulatory Framework For E-Cigarettes, Report of the Standing Committee on Health
February 27, 2015 Introduction to RECIG: Research on E-Cigarettes (OTRU Newsletter)
December 22, 2014 E-cigarette use slapped with growing provincial regulation: Many consumers don’t even know if the e-cigarettes they are smoking contain nicotine
October 31, 2014 Position Statement on Electronic Cigarettes
March 6, 2014 Time to embrace – and regulate – e-cigarettes
August 8, 2013 Report of the Forum on E-Cigarettes

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