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Manitobans Want E-Cigarette Use

Regulated Like Smoking

Winnipeg, Manitoba (September 8, 2015) – A recent survey from MANTRA (Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance) conducted by Prairie Research Associates found that the majority of Manitobans want e-cigarette use regulated like smoking. Highlights from the survey include:

•   Manitobans do not want youth accessing e-cigarettes. According to the survey 78% support  restricting shops that primarily sell e-cigarettes to those 18 years of age and older.

•   77% of Manitobans support treating e-cigarette use the same as smoking tobacco, meaning use is banned in all enclosed public places and indoor workplaces.

•   When presented with possible exemptions, 65% of Manitobans oppose allowing e-cigarette use in bars, lounges, casinos and other public places where only adults are permitted.

In June of 2015, the Province of Manitoba announced a bill amending the Non Smokers’ Health Protection Act to include regulation of e-cigarettes. Many provinces have acted to regulate e-cigarettes like tobacco products but the Manitoba legislation has taken a different and less restrictive approach. One way in which the Manitoba bill differs from other provinces is that it allows for possible future exemptions for e-cigarette use in bars, casinos and other public places where only adults are permitted.

MANTRA agrees with the majority of Manitobans who oppose exemptions for adult-only establishments like bars, casinos and lounges. Because e-cigarettes are unregulated devices that have only recently become popular, there is only a small body of research about potential health risks associated with vaping and it is not known how vaping will impact smoking rates. We know from the survey that about 6 in 10 Manitobans have concerns about whether being exposed to the exhaled vapour of an e-cigarette is safe.

Another concern raised by the survey is the issue of “dual use”. According to the survey, the majority of recent e-cigarette users in Manitoba also smoke regular cigarettes. This data suggests that dual use is a problem in Manitoba.  “Dual users are those who use both e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes,” says MANTRA Executive Director Murray Gibson. “They are not using e-cigarettes to quit smoking but to save money, reduce their smoking, or to address their addiction where smoking is not allowed or acceptable.” It is MANTRA’s position that banning e-cigarette use in bars, casinos, and lounges will do nothing to prevent people from using e-cigarettes to quit smoking, but this ban will be effective in reducing the problem of dual use.

The Manitoba legislation also differs from other provinces in that it will allow for sampling and testing of e-cigarette products in businesses where youth are not allowed and the sale of e-cigarette products is the main business activity. About 50% of Manitobans support allowing the use of e-cigarettes for testing and sampling in vapour product shops.  If testing and sampling of products is to be allowed, it is MANTRA’s position that vapour product shops be restricted from selling products not directly related to vaping so they do not become lounges that promote a lifestyle of vaping.

Bill 30 goes to committee on Wednesday, September 9. MANTRA has the following recommendations for changes to the bill:

1) E-cigarette use should not be allowed in bars, casinos and lounges.

2) If vapour product shops allow testing and sampling of products they should be restricted to selling only e-cigarettes, e-juice and related products.

Methodology

This Omnibus survey was conducted by PRA in June and Early July of 2015. A total of 800 Manitoba residents, 18 years of age and over, were interviewed by telephone on a range of issues.

Approximate error rate +/- 3.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About MANTRA

Founded as a nonprofit in 2002, MANTRA functions as a catalyst and coordinator for tobacco reduction activities in Manitoba. Our vision is to eliminate tobacco use for a healthier Manitoba.

For more information please contact:

Contact Murray Gibson, Executive Director MANTRA

204.784.7030

www.mantrainc.ca

 © Copyright 2017 MANTRA Inc.