E-Cigarette businesses Defy Health Canada cease and desist orders April 16, 2014 09:50

Electronic cigarette vendors in Canada have reportedly received the latest threatening letters from Health Canada but they aren't budging. The government has even banned the importation of nicotine "e-juice" to Canada. Despite this ban, the e-cigarette business seems to be booming. For instance, in 2013 alone, the Canadian Border Services impounded almost 17,000 Kg of tobacco substitute products, including those used in e-cigarettes. 

Instead of dampening the spirit of electronic cigarette retailers, the threats from federal agencies seems empty considering the rapidly increasing number of e-cigarette businesses across the country, either as online-based stores or as brick-and-mortar stores.

An e-cig vendor and a member of the E-Cigarette Trade Association of Canada (ECTA), Kate Ackerman says, the retail industry faces a myriad of legal problems, from border seizures to cease and desist orders. He added that ECTA is pushing the federal government to consult all the interested parties in order to come up with comprehensive e-cigarette regulations. This way, the product would be handled properly.

“Only a few of the 5 million smokers in Canada understand what e-cigarette is. Health Canada knows this fact but it is uneconomical with the truth,” said Ackerman. According to Ackerman, since e-cigarette is not a medical product, it is illogical and dishonest to say that it's not approved yet it doesn’t fall in the category of medical products that have failed the approval requirements

“It is also dishonest to bar a retailer from selling an electronic cigarette because it's not an approved medical product yet it's sold as a non-medical product. But since the federal government is at the center of this issue, real struggle is inevitable and eventually, the matter will be settled in court."

Some electronic cigarette vendors are reportedly scared off when they receive a cease and desist letter from Health Canada. In the letter, they warn you to stop selling the products "or else". "This can be very scary, particularly the or else part," he added.

“When you read the letter, what comes in your mind is the government crushing your door and hauling you off to jail forever. But currently, the law does not allow them to do much in terms of penalizing electronic cigarette vendors who have defied their orders. All they can do now is to mark vendors who are violating their food and drug regulations by selling nicotine e-liquid. It is not clear whether or not they pursue that but even if they go ahead and pursue it, it would just end up in court.”

According to Ackerman, people are beginning to understand and embrace e-cigarettes. Attitude against this product is increasingly shifting, not only in the US but across the world. 

A recent study by Royal College of Physicians predicts a good future for the electronic cigarettes and says people should support their use because they will save lives. According to the study, e-cigarettes will be embraced in U.K. health institutions once they are licensed. Although the e-cigarette retail industry continues to grow every year, Health Canada is not relenting on its resolve to ban the sale of e-cigarettes.