Healthy Living

Algoma Public Health

Emerging Issues

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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 uses and sometimes tastes, but does not contain tobacco. A typical e-cigarette consists of a battery, an atomizer that heats the liquid and turns it into a vapour, and a cartridge that contains flavouring and (sometimes) nicotine in a base of propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG) and water.


E-Cigarettes and their refill products without nicotine are available in a variety of locations for purchase, however e-cigarettes with nicotine as well as nicotine cartridges and e-liquid containing nicotine cannot legally be imported, marketed, or sold in Canada until Health Canada has approved them. Also Health Canada does not permit these products with or without nicotine to make a health claim.


Health Canada Advises Canadians Not to Use Electronic Cigarettes


E-cigarettes are a relatively new device and while these products are almost certainly less harmful than tobacco cigarettes, little is known about the longer term safety and effectiveness of these products.


For more information:

Non-Smokers' Rights Association

Canadian Cancer Society - Our Perspective on E-Cigarettes


The Ontario Government passed the Electronic Cigarette Act in May 2015. Regulations for the act are being finalized and no date of implementation of the new restriction has been announced. The Act proposes to:

  • Restrict the sale and supply of electronic cigarettes to persons under 19 years of age
  • Place restricts on the display and promotion of electronic cigarettes
  • Ban the sale of electronic cigarettes in certain places
  • Make provisions for regulating packaging of electronic cigarettes and for regulating the sale of flavoured electronic cigarettes
  • Prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes in enclosed workplaces, enclosed public places and certain other places


For more information visit the Electronic Cigarettes Act.



Date of Creation: June 1, 2015

Last Modified: June 1, 2015