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Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Electronic cigarettes are now treated in the same way as regular cigarettes in Ontario under a new law that also bans the sale of flavoured tobacco and requires restaurants to put calorie counts on menus.

E-cigarettes now cannot be sold to anyone under 19 years old, their promotion and displays are regulated and their use is banned in smoke-free areas.

The province's associate health minister calls e-cigarettes an "emerging technology" and says Ontario is leaving the door open to the possibility they can help some smokers break their addiction.

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Dipika Damerla says 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.

A Progressive Conservative was the only member of the legislature to vote against the bill today, saying the law severely limits the availability of e-cigarettes, which he says help people to stop smoking.

Randy Hillier says they have helped him "substantially" reduce how much he smokes and three of his staff members have quit completely with the help of vaporizers.

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