Shop owners, e-cigarette users want changes to new regulations

Adam MacInnis
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Liz Donovan picked up her first cigarette when she was 13 years old and didn’t put the habit back down.

Shai Connors, runs The End Vape Shop in New Glasgow. She’s hoping the government will amend Bill 60 to allow the use of flavoured juices in e-cigarettes like the cotton candy flavour she holds in this picture. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS

She smoked a pack to two packs a day every day for 40 years.

“For at least the last 30 of those years I was smoking home-rolled cigarettes (due to the cost of packaged ones),” she said. “These are even worse because they are so much stronger.” She had tried everything from patches and gum to prescription Champix and hypnosis, to quit but nothing worked for her.

“So on Jan.16, 2014, I purchased a personal vapourizer and some flavoured e-juice.”

For the first three days she smoked 10 cigarettes in all. On the fourth day she went totally smoke-free.

She started with 12mg of nicotine in her e-cigarette juice and over time cut it in half  to 6mg, sometimes even vaping juice with 0 nicotine.

“Before quitting smoking and starting vaping, I used to get up every morning and go to bed every night coughing up so much phlegm it was unspeakable,” she said. “Today I cough zero and also I have never been sick, not even a snuffle since January 2014 when I started vaping.”

While a study by the World Health Organization this summer stated there was no clear evidence whether e-cigarettes help people quit smoking, there are plenty of people like Donovan who swear by it. They contacted The News and also shared similar stories.

That’s why Donovan and others in Nova Scotia who have switched to vaping are frustrated and a bit baffled by new legislation being proposed.

When Donovan heard the second reading of Bill 60 which would ban the flavoured juices used by most e-cigarette users, she was blown away.

“These people have absolutely no idea what they are even talking about,” she said.  “I believe they have not even looked at any, let alone all the studies out there. They are referring to personal vapourizers as cigarettes and tobacco. I could not believe what I was hearing.”

She like most vapers believes there should be rules. What they’re concerned about is rules so stringent that it takes away their ability to use the devices at all.

Shai Connors owns and operates The End Vape Shop in New Glasgow, which has been at the heart of the battle of e-cigarettes.

Her windows are curtained to prevent youth from seeing into the store, a sign says no one under 19 is allowed in and she makes sure she only purchases Canadian product that is stored in childproof lids.

She believes this self-regulation within the industry is working, but also says she will readily accept rules that prohibit the sale of the product to minors (which she doesn’t do anyway). She even can understand rules to prevent its use in public places. What concerns her is the ban on flavoured juices.

Those against the flavoured juices say they are targeted to minors. Connors says that’s not the case and Donovan agrees.

“I am almost 54 years old and cotton candy flavour is what stopped me from smoking and that along with my banana cream, chicken bones, vanilla custard and even bubblegum flavoured e-juice are what keeps me tobacco cigarette free today and all 283 days,” Donovan said.

“I’m a nicotine addict,” Connors readily admits. She knows if she can’t get e-cigarettes she will resort back to cigarettes. It’s for those consumers like herself that she’s concerned about with these new rules.

New Glasgow Const. Ken Macdonald, who works with students in the DARE program said it is very rare to see a student using an e-cigarette. Those who do are usually 16 or over. What is far more common is regular cigarettes.

Connors plans to speak to the legislature about her concerns. A petition with 5,000 written signatures she’s collected at her two stores will be presented as well.

“The number-one thing that’s the issue with Bill 60 is that they try to classify it as a tobacco product,” she said. “It’s ludicrous. There’s no tobacco within this whatsoever.”

She said it is an uneducated move and she’s made a point of calling as many MLAs as possible to discuss the concerns and request that the bill be amended.

“Several of them did not understand the bill they were supporting,” she said.

On Twitter: NGNewsAdam


SIDEBAR: Opponents say new rules needed


As much as people have personal success testimonies from using e-cigarettes, some have expressed concern though. One woman wrote The News to say:

“I am extremely happy about the new legislation coming for e-cigs.  My son is in Grade 7 at the New Glasgow Academy and tells me that numerous kids have been smoking these at school recently. Apparently they were hiding them out back of the school, but several were used in the hallways. I think that kids are seeing these being used by adults everywhere and feel they are not as bad as actually smoking a cigarette,” said the woman who works as a respiratory therapist. "As a therapist, I feel they do have a place in assisting smokers to cut back or quit smoking by reducing their associations with certain activities i.e.: their am coffee, or their drive to work. But their presence should not be seen by children in every corner store and gas station.”

Smokefree Nova Scotia has also issued a release in support of Bill 60.

“Currently the safety of these devices and the vapour they produce is not known. Their usefulness to help people stop smoking has not been adequately scientifically demonstrated,” they stated. “The delivery devices and the liquid cartridges they contain (with or without nicotine) have not gone through the consumer safety-testing processes required to be approved by Health Canada. Therefore, people don’t know if what they are buying is safe to use, nor how likely it is to help them reduce or stop smoking tobacco products. Given the uncertainty around the safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes or ENDS, there is a need for rigorous study by independent research organizations that are not affiliated with the e-cigarette or tobacco industry or their subsidiaries.”

Smoke Free Nova Scotia said e-cigarettes have the potential to undermine gains made in tobacco control. E-cigarette promotion and use also pose risks to public health if:

-  they become a gateway to cigarette smoking by youth; -  they re-normalize smoking; -  smokers who would otherwise have quit smoking instead switch to e-cigarettes; -  former smokers begin using e-cigarettes rather than maintaining complete abstinence.




• E-cigarettes were first developed in China and were introduced to the U.S. market in 2007.

• The process of using an e-cigarette is called "vaping."

• An e-cigarette is a battery-operated device that turns nicotine, flavourings and other chemicals into a vapour that can be inhaled. The ones that contain nicotine offer varying concentrations of nicotine.

• In July 2014, a report developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) found there was not enough evidence to determine if electronic cigarettes can help people quit smoking.

Organizations: World Health Organization (WHO), The End Vape Shop, New Glasgow Academy Health Canada

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, New Glasgow, China U.S.

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Recent comments

  • Bill Godshall
    November 03, 2014 - 12:32

    In sharp contrast to the claims of Bill 60 proponents and other e-cigarette prohibitionists, the scientific and empirical evidence consistently finds that e-cigarettes (aka vapor products): - are 99% (+/-1%) less hazardous than cigarettes, - have never been known to cause any disease or death, - are nearly all (i.e. >99%) consumed by smokers and by exsmokers who switched to vaping, - have replaced more than 2 Billion packs of cigarettes worldwide in the past five years, - have helped several million smokers quit smoking and helped millions more sharply reduce their cigarette consumption, - are more effective than government approved and subsidized nicotine gums, lozenges and patches for smoking cessation (which have a 95% failure rate), - pose fewer risks than government approved and subsidized Verenicline (Chantix/Champix), - have never been found to create nicotine dependence in any nonsmoker (youth or adult), - have never been known to precede cigarette smoking in any daily smoker, - emit trace levels of nontoxic aerosol that pose no harm to nonusers, - have never poisoned any human, and - have further denormalized cigarette smoking (as youth and adult smoking rates and cigarette consumption have declined every year since 2007 when vapor sales began to skyrocket). Regardless of what they may say, anyone who opposes e-cigarettes and wants to regulate them is supporting and protecting lethal cigarettes. E-cigs are just as important for protecting public health as antibiotics, vaccines, water/sewage treatment and condoms. And of course, those who opposed antibiotics, vaccines, water/sewage treatment and condoms similarly claimed to be public health advocates. Bill Godshall Executive Director Smokefree Pennsylvania 1926 Monongahela Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15218 412-351-5880

  • Josh Ward
    November 02, 2014 - 18:24

    I started smoking at 11 years old.. when i see a kid using an ecig I think well it could be worst.. Kids smoke!! As long as anyone smokes kids are going to as well.. Same thing with booze, drugs, and personal vaporizers.. I smoked for more then 13 years starting at 11 and the longest I quit for was a month until I started vaping.. i instantly quit. I've tried a bottle of unflavored juice(vendor forgot to add flavor to a batch) and thats not gonna keep me off cigs.. The flavors are just as important as the nicotine itself. also under those new rules the vendors wont be able to show off their products or help people learn how to use them.. You need a good ecig to start with.

  • P Hubley
    November 02, 2014 - 13:43

    I have been a smoker for almost 50 years and have paid a dear price, both financially and from a health perspective. I have tried everything, even quitting for 5 years after a heart attack that almost ended my life. In a moment of weakness while going through a stressful time in my life, I 'hooked' myself again. Smoking controlled my every waking moment, even my sleeping moments as I would often wake up in the middle of the night and crave a cigarette. I was so excited to hear about personal vaporizers. Switching was relatively easy. I can breathe again. The research is out there and supports the use of vaporizers as a reduced-harm option for those of us addicted to nicotine. There is no tobacco in vaping liquid. I've yet to hear of a negative result from smokers who have become vapers. This is a good thing. I just can't fathom the Nova Scotia Government's government's reasoning. Perhaps it's true - 'follow the money' and you'll understand their actions. How depressing...

  • Tracy
    November 01, 2014 - 16:08

    It's because the government haven't fiqured out a way to get their greasy paws a way to add their 500% tax on air yet. Yes, they tax cigarettes 500%! I can buy my same brand while away in another country for $7, they are a few cents shy of $17 here, and the places in the other country are surely doubling their profit. VAPE IS AIR!! HARMLESS! You should be far more concerned to your car interior and house furniture and kitchen utensils and tv remote that you touch and exposed to daily that are laced with so many dangerous chemicals, ask any fireman! Google that too. Even particulate air emissions from the zamboni at the rinks. Put one gas powered motor in a room with 100 people, all will be dead in minutes, think how many cigarettes one exhause pipe emits per minute? multiply that by cars passing by you, but god forbid you walk by a sngle whiff of a smoke. While you're enjoying that "smoke free" patio deck, you may want to think about the 500 vehichles that just idled past you. A vape has NO smell, no smoke, no danger, PERIOD! It's like seeing your breath on a cold day. Obesity and it's related causes are the second biggest drain on health care dollars and health problems. Are they going to hide away all the burgers and donuts and ice-cream and everything behing closed cabinets for you to guess at what they sell? Of course not. Are they going to add a 500% tax on these items? Of course not, Are they going to force "fat food eating" people out in to the elements and stand 12 feet from all dorrways and ban them from eating inside the place they bought the items? Of course not. It's pure politics, spite and purist attitude, NOT science as they try to tell you. Especially any farce dished out from the WHO, that's right, look up the corruption linked to them. Just one more idiot move in our bubble wrapped nanny state we call Nova Scotia.

  • melody chard
    November 01, 2014 - 13:40

    E-cigs are not smoking cessation devices like nicorette gum, inhalers, etc. People who make the switch from tobacco to vaping usually continue on vaping for me. I have vaped for the past 5 years. It was the flavors like cinnamon hearts, and custard that helped me stay off tobacco. I will not give up my flavors and go back to tobacco for anyone. The people deciding on this issue have ZERO understandng of the product, and they don't care that there is unbiased, peer reviewed and published research that has been done. They turn a blind eye to the science and are just trying desperately to kill this innovative product and, in essence, will be responsible for the deaths of the vapers who return to tobacco. This is not about the's about the money big tobacco and big pharma bring to the table. Tobacco jumped onto e-cigs when they saw their profits falling . The e-cigs....or cig-a-likes they sell will never touvh my lips. No vaper trusts big tobacco and what they would put in their products. Real e-cigs are not sold by big tobacco. They tried to copy what was once all that was available. Vapers have moved on to safer, more advanced personal vaporizers, and the e-liquid does not contain tobacco, and is not purchased from big tobacco. I agree that e-cigs should not be sold to kids.....but leave the flavors alone unless you are really protecting tobacco sales and pharmaceutical which case, I hope you will be held acountable in criminal court for the deaths you will cause.

  • iggy
    November 01, 2014 - 11:30

    im with you...smoked for 35yrs...2 packs a day...this works when nothing else 52 and...yes...i love the flavors...if one is trying to quit smoking why would one choose a tobacco flavored product...grown up like candy flavors too!!!

  • Bill
    November 01, 2014 - 06:55

    It's a shame that the majority of politicians are ignoring those that this legislation affects. I wrote a personal letter to my MLA, no response recieved. We have our elected MLA's banning people who express concern about Bill 60 from their Facebook and Twitter. Bill 60 was read a second time on Teusday, then rushed to Law amendments committee this Monday, leaving those that want to present evidence to the committee little time to prepare. Many have to arrange time off work so they can travel to the hearing. Now we hear that the 3rd reading will likely occur thei coming Tuesday or Wednesday. I know there are many planning to speak and present evidence. It would be impossible to give the information fair consideration unless the decision is already made to pass the bill. As MLA Joanne Bernard said in a Twitter conversation "This bill will be passed with unanimous support across party lines". The tweet was later deleted, that's our democracy folks!

  • Grant
    November 01, 2014 - 05:53

    So the 2 Million vapers in the UK, and the 700,000 of them that exclusively use these devices instead of smoking, obviously means that they don't work for people trying to find an alternative to smoking? Then there is the fact that you don't know what is in them? Propylene Glycol (not to be confused with Dipropylene Glycol which is what is in antifreeze) Vegetable Glycerine, Nicotine extract, and artificial or natural flavoring. That is all that is in the liquid, if this is too much information for you, I guess it is time to go back to school, and re-enroll in grade 1. Most of the studies that have been performed have been by groups not associated with ecigs or the tobacco industry, do a little googling and you will find tons of references. Though make sure not to confuse a survey or a blog article with a peer reviewed study by scientists. As for dangerous products in plain view of children? I was walking through a mall with my 5 year old niece and she saw a Mc Donald's and immediately wanted to go their for a meal. I told her the food there was not good for her, and that I haven't eaten there since I was 10 years old because the quality of the food was subpar. She agreed with me, and later that week my Sister contacted me and thanked me for having this conversation with her. She and her husband had been insisting that the parents in their PTA quit sending Happy Meals to schools, influencing children to eat this crap. High levels of sugar, and manipulated protein structures are present in this food, to make it taste good, at a cheap rate, thus leading toward obesity in children. If a Mother can't inform her Child of the dangers of an ecig, then they are Not fit to be a parent. We are supposed to educate our children, not leave it up to the government, when half the time they are not educating but subjecting us to "Their Misinformed Views." There is a difference between and ecig and a pvd, where you can purchase a pvd in all vape shops, and an ecig in most convenience stores and gas bars. An ecig looks like a cigarette, while a pvd doesn't. A pvd tends to look like an oversized marker, or a box like device, but never a cigarette. A teen or a child, cannot afford a pvd, unless the parent purchases one for them, as they are generally close to $100 or more, and I have yet to see a 9 year old with that type of change on them. Smoke free Nova Scotia's only worry is that they will lose funding if ecigs remain on the market, so they have a vested interest to demonize them. I also have a vested interest to educate people on them as I value my new found freedom and that of my mother, my best friend, my nephew and my many friends who have switched from smoking to this far safer (Proven) alternative.

  • Chris Erickson
    November 01, 2014 - 03:13

    i smoked for 44 years and my health was suffering but I just couldn't quit - until I got my personal vaporizer (PV). I am getting close to 6 months free of 'cancer sticks' and my health has improved greatly. The flavours in the E-juice that I turn to vapour in my device is what got me off smoking. It is plain cruel to take that away and I will hold legislators responsible if vaping becomes so difficult and unpleasant that I return to smoking. They keep saying there is no proof it helps people quit smoking, but when countless people try to tell their stories about how they quit by vaping, they won't listen, saying that our information is just anecdotal! Well, how can the truth come out when there is no avenue to tell it? This is just lunacy to be making laws without even knowing what it is all about. It should be celebrated that so many people are finally quitting smoking, not to kick us back down.

  • Kellie Forbes
    November 01, 2014 - 01:24

    The notion that ecigs are a gateway to smoking deserves some common sense. Why would someone switch to something that tastes disgusting; is 100-1000 times worse for your health; costs 10 times as much and makes you stink?? Let us not forget that smoking costs the Canadian tax payers over $17 billion a year. Let us also remember that 52%of smokers try to quit smoking every year and 90% fail to quit. Don't forget that 70% of smokers surveyed want to quit but don't believe they can. Vaping not only satisfies the nicotine addiction but the physical habit. It has been shown to raise the success rate of quitting form 10% to 30%. Furthermore the propylene glycol is used in medical puffers, fog machines and as a base for injectable medicines. A 1947 study exposing monkeys to continuous high concentrations of vaporizer propylene glycol for 18 months showed no harm on autopsy. So the real question here is who's interests are these politicians serving? The smoker? Their loved ones? The Canadian tax payer? Or are they serving the corporate interests that cash in on the people who suffer from smoking related diseases?

  • chris
    October 31, 2014 - 22:16

    I would rather die from cancer than give up my freedom to choose and bow to a tyrannical nanny state. Epic Fail Liberals.

  • In_Favor_of_E-Cigarettes
    October 31, 2014 - 18:19

    It's the Big Cigarette Company's that have the Law Maker's (Politician's ) In their back pocket that are against E-Cigarettes!!!!! Just like puppets!! I (myself) are in favor of E-Cigarettes , I know some people who quit Tobacco in favor of E-Cigarettes.