Alberta’s new Health Minister considers e-cigarettes “dangerous”, and wants to impose rules on their use and sale.
Stephen Mandel says he wants new regulations in place “as soon as possible”.
Stores selling the devices and vaporizing liquids are springing up all over Calgary.
The devices transform flavored liquids with different amounts of nicotine, into steam.
Heather Bodnar-Gray says she “vaped” away a 15-year, pack-a-day habit using progressively weaker “e-juice”.
“It’s probably the proudest thing I’ve ever done in my life, is quit smoking”, says Bodnar-Gray, adding “I don’t need this. I don’t use this regularly.”
The epiphany led her to open four vape stores across Alberta in just 14 months.
But as stores open, some jurisdictions are banning e-cigarettes.
Red deer already prohibits their use in public spaces.
The City of Calgary is studying the issue with public consultations coming in the New Year.
Health Canada discourages their use because there aren’t enough studies yet on whether they help or harm.
And anti-smoking advocates worry the growing trend may “re-normalize” smoking again.
Bodnar-Gray says she discourages vaping for her own child, and says her stores refuse to sell them to minors.
She supports banning their use inside public buildings, and welcomes regulation to lay out what’s okay and what’s not.
“It’s such a new product, people still come up to ask us is this legal? They want to be on the right side of the law.” adds Bodnar-Gray.