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Vaping Laws Across Canada

 

Ever since the introduction of vaping products in Canada, there has been quite a lot of uncertainty regarding the laws and regulations. Well, the good news is that vaping products are legal in the Canadian Market.

The Federal Government presented the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (the “TVPA”) in 2018, which marked a substantial change in the regulatory framework concerning vaping products. The primary purpose was to regulate the manufacture, sale, labeling, and promotion of vaping products throughout Canada.

Vaping Laws for Different Provinces

Due to the growing presence of vaping, the sales of e-cigarettes and vaping accessories in Canada have been permitted to adults of age 18 years or older. There are some provincial, territorial, and municipal laws legalizing vaping products in different Canadian provinces, with a few exceptions. 

Let’s explore some of the laws and regulations in different provinces.

British Colombia: Legalizes Vaping for Adults Aged 19 or Above

According to the government of British Colombia, any adult over the age of 19 can buy vaping products. The sellers must ensure that they sell e-cigarettes and other vaping accessories to people with a government-issued identification that confirms their age.

If a law enforcement officer finds someone contravening the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act “TVPA,” they can issue a ticket of $345 to $575 or request an administrative hearing. Under the regulation, the following are banned:

  • Promoting vaping products in public spaces such as parks or bus shelters
  • Using vaping products publicly, including workplaces, doorways, public buildings, residential apartments, child care, or school premises
  • Selling e-cigarettes and accessories to minors (under 19)
  • Vaping in a work vehicle or around someone under 16 inside the vehicle

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Alberta: Government Enforces Moderate Vaping Laws     

Alberta was the only province without any legislation on vaping or smoking. However, in 2021, the federal government passed a new bill to impose provincial restrictions on the sales, advertisement, display, and consumption of vaping products.

Some municipalities have regulations to restrict e-cigarette use in public spaces, including hospitals, schools, outdoor theaters, and more. In order to buy vaping products legally, you have to be 18 or older. The changes in the regulations establish fines for vaping violations. These fines include:

  • $100 on minors possessing or using vaping products
  • $250 for vaping in a restricted place
  • $500 to $750 for selling to a minor or promoting in prohibited locations

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Quebec: You Must be 18 or Above to Visit a Vape Shop in Quebec

The sale of vaping products in Quebec to anyone under 18 is considered illegal, making photo IDs a requirement to buy any sort of vaping product or accessories. In 2015, Quebec passed its Tobacco Control Act (Bill 44), implying e-cigarettes or vapes to the same regulations as tobacco products.

Vaping product ads — except advertisements in newspapers or magazines with an adult audience of not less than 85% — are banned. The display of e-cigarettes in retail stores accessible to people under 18 is also illegal. Vapers cannot use e-cigarettes or vapes in places where smoking is prohibited. Adding flavors to e-liquids for e-cigarettes or open pod systems is permitted by law. Anyone (including sellers and buyers) who does not comply with the regulations will be subject to a fine.

New Brunswick: Promotion of Vaping Products Outside Shops is Prohibited

At first, the government banned the sale of vaping products in New Brunswick to people under the age of 19, where outdoor shops were prohibited from promoting vaping products openly. The sale of flavored tobacco, including menthol, was also banned.

However, on June 10th, 2021, bills 55 and 63 were passed to amend the Tobacco and Electronic Cigarettes Sales Act, including a ban on the sale of flavored vaping products, except for tobacco flavour. Retailers are only allowed to sell tobacco-flavored vaping products, putting an end to e-flavours.

Ontario: People Under 19 are Prohibited to Enter a Vape Shop

On January 1st, 2020, the government announced that it would ban the promotion and advertisement of vaping products and accessories in convenience stores and gas stations. However, the promotion of vaping products is still allowed in specialty vape and cannabis shops, open to people 19 and older. But the stores must ensure to display advertisements in a way not visible from outside.

The sale of e-cigarettes and other vaping accessories to anyone under 19 is illegal. Vaping when a person under the age of 16 is in a vehicle is also prohibited by law.

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Manitoba: The Government Bans Vaping in Public Spaces

Under the Smoking and Vapour Products Control Act, which came into force on October 17th, 2019, vaping products cannot be sold to minors (under 18.) There is a ban on vaping in indoor public spaces, such as schools, libraries, hospitals, restaurants, and workplaces.

The province bans the advertisements and promotion of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes as well. Vaping in a vehicle when children under 16 are present is prohibited.

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Nova Scotia: The First Province to Implement Restrictions on Vaping

According to the Tobacco Access Act regulations in Nova Scotia, the government imposed a restriction on 2020 on the sale of e-liquids to a maximum nicotine concentration of 20 mg. However, in 2015, Nova Scotia banned e-cigarettes or vapes on anyone under 19.

Vape shops are not allowed to openly display ads and promotional content outside their shops, where minors can see it. Nova Scotia is the third province to propose vaping restrictions in Canada. Ontario and British Columbia have both projected provincial regulations on vaping; however, Nova Scotia’s bans are, by far, the most restrictive in Canada.

Vaping Legislations in Canada – A Final Note

Vaping is legal across various provinces in Canada, with a few restrictions on age, advertisement, and accessibility. The legal age to vape across Canada is 18 or 19.

Regardless of the restrictions imposed by the government, research suggests that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island have already banned vaping flavours except tobacco, while Ontario and British Columbia have restricted where several flavours can be sold. However, if the government bans vaping completely, it would result in a rise of black-market sellers, making people switch back to smoking. Therefore, the Canadian Government can impose restrictions on shops selling to minors, regulating vaping products for adults.   

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