E-cigarette charger sparks safety concern

While smoking is known to be dangerous for one's health, a product aimed to help smokers quit isn't meeting Canadian safety standards.

Voltage of e-cigarette chargers is above standard electric socket

A vapour-based cigarette used by people who want the feel of smoking without the nicotine, requires a power charger  that doesn't conform to government safety standards, according to the province's chief electrical inspector.

It requires eight hours of charging to get it started, then two hours to keep it going.

Jake LeBlanc, New Brunswick's chief electrical inspector, says the voltage listed is a huge problem.

"It says 220 volts, which these are made to go in your wall which are 120, so right away that this would be a tip off that there was something wrong," he told CBC News.

On one package observed by CBC News there was no symbol of certification.

There is a list of approved Canadian certification symbols, most common are CSA — the Canadian Standards Association and cUL.

If there is no sign, Leblanc said it's potentially dangerous.

"It could pose a fire or shock hazard. It hasn't been tested to any recognizable standard, so that would be our concern," he said.

There are other signs to keep an eye on, said LeBlanc.

"A tip-off on a counterfeit, or one that's not approved, is that if you read the language on the product itself or in the instructions, the grammar is usually bad."

LeBlanc said there are so many products flooding in from places overseas and over the internet that his inspectors can't keep up.

One Fredericton distributor of anti-smoking products agreed Thursday to stop selling its electronic cigarettes to retailers in the province following a meeting with a provincial electrical inspector.