E-cigarette seller fights Health Canada order to stop
Ryanne Pineda, of Fredericton's East Coast Vape, contends e-cigarettes are safe
A Fredericton store owner who sells e-cigarettes is fighting an order from Health Canada to stop.
Ryanne Pineda's East Coast Vape also produces the flavoured vaporizing liquids that deliver nicotine to e-cigarette users as a vapour.
He says he has a growing clientele of more than 2,000 local and online customers for so-called vaping kits, which cost between $25 and $200, and is hoping to cash in on a market that was worth about $1 billion in Europe last year.
But Health Canada sent him a letter telling him to cease and desist.
"We actually refuted back, saying that the law states that under Schedule F of the Food and Drugs Act, nicotine is directly exempt with a dose of under four milligrams, from being classified as a new drug or a drug delivery system," Pineda told CBC News.
He says he has not yet received a response.
E-cigarettes are not approved for sale by Health Canada, but proponents like Pineda contend they are healthier than smoking traditional cigarettes.
"It mimics smoking. It feels like smoking. You're getting nicotine. No withdrawal. So, that's how I got into it," said Pineda, a former smoker.
Gordon Green, a cigarette smoker for 53 years who has been vaping for about 13 months, agrees.
"I haven't had a cigarette and I haven't had too often many cravings. So it's working for me," said Green.
"I'm not saying it'll work for everybody that's going to want to quit smoking, but I mean, it's a great substitute as far as I'm concerned."
Pineda insists the products are safe.
"We import it under proper regulations. We have quality control. We know what's going into our product," he said.
"We also have the ability to test each part of the product through an independent lab called EnthalpyAnalytical Inc. They're actually Health Canada-accredited, that's why we use them."
Health Canada did not respond to a CBC inquiry about the legality of Pineda's business.