Watch above: Councillor Joe Mihevc explains the restrictions on e-cigarettes.
TORONTO – City councillors voted 36-2 in favour of banning e-cigarettes from city buildings.
The decision came at the request of the city’s chief medical officer of health who suggested in a report the city ban the cigarettes anywhere traditional cigarettes were also prohibited.
Rob Ford and Josh Matlow were the lone votes against the ban.
The medical officer’s report suggested e-cigarettes may act as a gateway to regular smoking, but admitted there was no evidence to support the idea.
Toronto Public Health has suggested e-cigarettes, with or without nicotine, should be regulated much like traditional cigarettes. The agency suggested the provincial or federal government restrict use in indoor public space, workplaces and school property as well as banning the sale of the cigarettes to people under 19.
E-cigarettes are battery operated devices that mimic real cigarettes but don’t contain tobacco and a significantly smaller amount of nicotine and other chemicals. They don’t produce smoke but rather a water vapour that has been shown to contain small levels of heavy chemicals.
Councillors made the decision Monday during the onset of the last city council session of Mayor Rob Ford’s term as mayor.