Ontario bans sale of e-cigarettes to people under 19

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TORONTO (AP) — A law banning the sale of e-cigarettes to people to under the age of 19 went into effect in Ontario on Friday.

Electronic cigarettes are now treated in the same way as regular cigarettes in the Canadian province that includes Toronto. The law also bans the sale of flavored tobacco.

A ban on smoking e-cigarettes in public spaces and workplaces was also supposed to go into effect on New Year's Day, but Ontario's Associate Health Minister Dipika Damerla said it will be delayed until later in the year. She did not provide a reason for the delay.

Damerla has called e-cigarettes an "emerging technology" and said Ontario is leaving the door open to the possibility they can help some smokers break their addiction.

Dipika Damerla said if Health Canada gives its stamp of approval to them as cessation aids, the act can be changed through regulation to treat them as stop-smoking products in terms of where they can be sold and displayed.

Some anti-tobacco advocates argue the devices perpetuate nicotine addiction, may entice teens to take up smoking, and could undermine hard-fought smoking bans. Others see the devices as a way to help people stop consuming nicotine in a way that endangers their health and the health of those around them.

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