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Hundreds march to Ontario legislature against e-cigarette restrictions

Hundreds of people protest possible e-cigarette restrictions
WATCH ABOVE: Hundreds of people marched to Queen’s Park on Saturday, protesting possible restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes in Ontario. Erica Vella reports.

Hundreds of people marched to Queen’s Park on Saturday against proposed restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes in the province.

“It’s very damaging (to anyone) who wants to quit using cigarettes and wants to use vaping as a way to do that,” Vapor Advocates of Ontario spokesman Charlie Pisano said of the proposed rules.

In March, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced regulations due to take effect in July that would see e-cigarette and medical marijuana users banned from smoking or vaporizing anywhere regular cigarettes are prohibited

READ MORE: Ontario bans e-cigarettes, vaporizers where smoking already prohibited

David Sweanor, a law professor at University of Ottawa and e-cigarette advocate said the change will hamper those looking to ditch their smoking habit.

“[They’re] preventing people from using these products, finding out how it works,” he said.
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“They’re treating them just like cigarettes in terms of where they can be used. They simply are not like cigarettes.”

READ MORE: Ontario restricts sale, use of e-cigarettes, bans flavoured tobacco sales

But emergency room doctor and medical commentator Brett Belchetz said research doesn’t support the use of e-cigarettes as a way to butt out for good.

“This is not a good thing. This is not something that is helping people quit,” Belchetz said.

“What it is doing is exposing people unknown risks that may actually in some instances be worse than what we know of from traditional smoking.”

The proposed legislation is currently under consultation and the province is waiting to see if Health Canada officially designates e-cigarrettes as a smoking cessation device.