Ontario is Banning Flavoured Tobacco, Regulating E-Cigarettes, and Enforcing Calorie Counts on Fast-Food Menus

In case you missed it, some major changes were made in Ontario yesterday.

And if you have a thing for the e-cigarette or chewing tobacco, you’re probably not going to be too thrilled about them.

Yesterday, the Wynne government moved to ban flavoured tobacco, regulate e-cigarette smoking, and place calorie counts on fast-food restaurant menus, as part of the provinces new Making Healthier Choices Act.

The act, of course, marks an effort to make Ontarians healthier, and it passed with pretty much unanimous support from the three parties in a 99-1 vote.

Conservative MPP Randy Hillier acted as the sole opposition.

The new legislation prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 19 and renders their use in non-smoking illegal. It also forbids vendors from advertising or promoting their sale.

Though changes could be made to the e-cigarette portion of the bill, the ban on flavoured tobacco and the mandatory calorie counts will be implemented by Jan. 1, 2017.

Not surprisingly, the biggest debate concerns the e-cigarette.

On one hand, e-cigarettes can help tobacco smokers quit by offering a healthier alternative for their nicotine fix. Not to mention, restricting them to designated “smoking areas” forces them to hangout within a haze of cigarette smoke.

On the other, many feel that the use of e-cigarettes in common areas normalizes the act of smoking.

Either way, in Ottawa, a report by the health committee of the House of Commons recommended the federal government establish a new legal framework for e-cigarettes. Health Canada must respond to the report by July 8.