Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Bans Vaping in Places Where Smoking Tobacco Is Prohibited

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Bans Vaping in Places Where Smoking Tobacco Is Prohibited

Article excerpt

Ontario's take two on vaping rules


TORONTO - E-cigarette and medical marijuana users in Ontario will soon be banned from smoking or vaporizing anywhere regular cigarettes are prohibited, unless the Liberal government changes its mind -- again.

Premier Kathleen Wynne thinks the new rules are common sense.

"We have made a determination that smoking, whatever it is -- whether it's vaping, whether it's medical marijuana, whether it's cigarettes -- that there should be restrictions on that," she said Thursday. "And so the rules will apply to marijuana, to medical marijuana, to vaping as they do to cigarettes."

The new rules come months after the Liberal government backtracked on electronic cigarette regulations just one day after an exemption for medical marijuana came to light.

The e-cigarette rules were supposed to come into effect Jan. 1 to ban their use in enclosed public places, workplaces and certain outdoor areas.

But after the public learned of a medical marijuana exemption and that it meant users could vaporize in restaurants, at work or on playgrounds, the government put the rules on hold and went back to the drawing board.

The new regulations are now posted for consultation for the next 45 days. Associate Health Minister Dipika Damerla would not rule out more changes to the rules after that time.

"We look forward to the feedback and that is the point of consultations," she said.

These regulations have "struck a balance" between the rights of medical marijuana users and all other Ontarians, Damerla said -- repeating comments she made about the original set of regulations in November.

When asked why this new balance is better, she said, "We committed to reviewing the regulations around medical marijuana and we've kept our commitment."

Jonathan Zaid, the founder of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, had applauded the original exemption, saying users need their medication to live a better quality of life. …

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