Meshaila Connors

Shai Connors, owner of The End Vapor Shop, takes a drag from an e-cigarette. The cigarettes deliver a hit of nicotine, but have vapour instead of smoke. (CBC)

Health Canada has issued a cease and desist letter to an electronic cigarette seller in Nova Scotia for violating the Food and Drugs Act, CBC News has learned.

Shai Connors runs The End Vapor Shop in New Glasgow, where she's been selling e-cigarettes since August.

The battery-operated devices deliver nicotine as a vapour, which proponents say is healthier than smoking.

E-cigarettes are not approved for sale by Health Canada. The federal agency said Connors's store is "not compliant" with the Canada Food and Drugs Act.

In its letter to Connors and Eva Campbell, Health Canada said electronic smoking products may pose risks including "nicotine poisoning and addiction."

"It's not illegal. There's simply no law,” said Connors.

E-cigarettes are not covered under Nova Scotia's smoking ban. Last week, provincial Health Minister Leo Glavine promised to move quickly to bring in regulations for electronic cigarettes.

Glavine said e-cigarette regulations could be introduced in the legislature in the fall or spring session this year.

"The concept of vaping is one of concern," said Mohammed Al-hamdani, manager of health initiatives with Lung Association Nova Scotia. "It's a renormalization of smoking behaviour."

He said people, especially children, might not be able to differentiate between real cigarettes and electronic ones.

Al-hamdani told CBC's Maritime Noon that banning the alternative cigarettes would be a mistake, but there should be more regulations.

"This not tobacco. Everybody loves their habit," she said. "They have their addiction."

Connors said the juice she uses is lab tested.

Corrections

  • In a previous version of this story, Shai Connors was quoted as saying electronic cigarettes can help people quit their smoking addiction and be weaned off carcinogens. In fact, Connors does not claim electronic cigarettes are a quitting aid or that they are safe. She does believe they are safer than smoking tobacco.
    Dec 04, 2013 4:12 PM AT