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Can Electronic Cigarettes Beat The Smoking Ban And Are They Better For Your Health?
<div class="col-xs-12 col-sm-12 col-md-12 col-lg-12 div_news_02"><p> Ontario's anti-smoking law is one of the toughest in the country. So is Toronto's own bylaw.</p> <p> Both ban smoking in offices and enclosed spaces. And both force puffers to head outside for a butt - even in the dead of a -30C winter or the heat of a 40-plus humidex.</p> <p> Smokers have been forced to grin and bear it all these years, while crying they've been discriminated against. And many have been looking for loopholes to get around the all encompassing bans. And now some think they've found it, thanks to an electronic cigarette.</p> <p> <br /> They're made by a company called Crown Seven. The user puts a nicotine capsule inside, then puffs on one end. The other end lights up just like a cigarette even though this product does not burn.</p> <p> The gizmo delivers a hit of nicotine but lets out a puff of odourless water vapour instead of a plume of smoke. It only contains nicotine and not the hundreds of other chemicals that can be in a standard smoke.</p> <p> It comes with a rechargeable battery that heats up the liquid nicotine and turns it into a gas. And since it's not technically a cigarette and doesn't threaten anyone else's airway, it may not fall under the strict laws regarding indoor puffing. But how does it taste?</p> <p> "It's got a bit of a bite, sort of tobacco-like bite but it doesn't really taste like tobacco," reports volunteer Leo Jablonski.</p> <p> They're for sale all over the Internet at a range of strengths and prices, and advocates insist they have lots of benefits. There's no chance of fire since you don't light them, they don't stain your teeth, there's no second-hand smoke and they may make quitting easier.</p> <p> But vendors also claim they don't harm your health because the tar and smoke that comes with normal coffin nails isn't present.</p> <p> <br /> "I think people need to be cautious," warns Dr Roberta Ferrence, director of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit. "It's an unknown."</p> <p> "The concern is that the product will probably be promoted as something that's safer than smoking," she adds.</p> <p> Dr Ferrence doesn't think they're safe at all.</p> <p> In an interview with CityNews Medical Specialist Dr Karl Kabasele, she pointed out the many disadvantages of this "smokeless" cigarette:</p> <p> We don't know for certain that they are less harmful than regular cigarettes. They're not regulated, and because they're available in different strengths, it's difficult to gauge the danger.<br /> It keeps smoking visible, and therefore increases its social acceptance, at a time when the Ontario government is working to make smoking "uncool."<br /> Kids will have easier access to the gadget, and it may act as a gateway to the real thing.<br /> It's not a tool to help you quit smoking; it's just a way to get around the smoking ban laws. There's no evidence that it can help with smoking cessation.<br /> Finally, inhaling nicotine is the most addictive of all delivery modes.<br /> However, the company never claimed it could be used to help you quit smoking.</p> <p> <br /> "It's intended just for smoking alternative...for smokers to get their nicotine in nonsmoking environments," agrees Ron MacDonald, President and CEO of Crown Seven.</p> <p> There are other, tested, methods that can help you quit smoking. Check them out at the Health Canada website.</p> </div>