Vaping Laws in Canada – Everything You Need to Know

Provisions include minimum age, sales bans and advertising restrictions

Electronic cigarettes or vaping devices are legal for personal use in Canada, with no federal regulations on where they can be used. However, different municipalities and provinces have created their own regulations on vaping, including age restrictions, bans on indoor use, and restrictions on the sale and advertising of vaping products. It is important for vapers to be aware of these laws to avoid any potential legal issues. Additionally, the recent implementation of a vaping tax may result in increased prices for vaping products in Canada.

vaping laws in Canada

E-cigarettes, also known as vaping products, are electronic devices that use batteries to heat and vaporize a liquid solution, which is then inhaled by the user. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes do not involve combustion and do not contain tobacco. However, the liquid solution used in e-cigarettes may contain nicotine, as well as other ingredients and flavors. The liquid solution is typically composed of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, and can be combined with other substances to produce different flavors and effects.

Vaping statistics in Canada

According to a survey conducted in 2015, 13% of Canadians reported trying an e-cigarette. The highest rates of experimentation were among youth aged 15-19 years and young adults aged 20-24 years, with 6.3% having tried e-cigarettes. Furthermore, between 2013 and 2015, there was a significant increase in the use of e-cigarettes among Canadians in terms of ever use, recent use, and daily use.

On February 10, 2021, the Commonwealth Fund survey report for 2020 was published by CIHI. One of the key findings from the report was that 5% of Canadians claimed to have used e-cigarettes. Interestingly, the rate was highest among individuals aged 18 to 34, with 11% of them having used e-cigarettes, while the lowest rate was reported among individuals aged 35 and above, with only 3% of them having used e-cigarettes.

vaping statistics in Canada

On May 5th, 2022, Statistics Canada released a report that presented an overview of the Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey (CTNS) conducted in 2021. The purpose of the survey was to collect data on tobacco and nicotine usage in Canada, which included e-cigarettes, cigarettes, and other tobacco and nicotine products. The report highlighted a number of significant findings that were obtained from the CTNS.

  1. 5% of Canadians aged 15 and older had reported vaping in the past 30 days. Younger Canadians were more likely to have vaped in the past 30 days (13% of youth aged 15 – 19 and 17% of those aged 20 – 24) compared to 4% of Canadians aged 25 and older.
  2. Vaping to reduce stress was reported as the main reason for vaping among 15-19 years (33%) compared with 58% of those aged 25 and older who reported using vaping to reduce, quit or avoid returning to smoking.
  3. 6% of males and 5% of females vaped in the past 30 days.

And upon on another report on Canadian Community Health Survey, The latest vaping data from 2020 showed that:

  1. 4% of Canadians aged 15 and older vaped in the past 30 days. Younger Canadians were more likely to have vaped in the past 30 days (13% of youth aged 15 – 19 and 12% of those aged 20 – 24) compared to 3% of Canadians aged 25 and older.
  2. 6% of males and 3% of females vaped in the past 30 days.
  3. 3% of males and 2% of females vape daily.

Another survey to take note of is the Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, which targets Canadian students from grades 7 to 12. This survey aims to obtain information regarding the students’ usage of vaping and CBD products. The most recent survey, conducted in 2018-19, revealed the following findings:

  1. 20% of students in grades 7-12 reported using a vaping product within the last 30 days.
  2. 18% of students have used an e-cigarette with nicotine and 11% had used an e-cigarette withoutnicotine in the past 30 days.
  3. 54% of the students thought it would be “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get an e-cigarette with nicotine if they wanted one, and 58% thought it would be “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get an e-cigarette without nicotine if they wanted one.
  4. Among students who used cannabis, 42% reported vaporizing/vaping in the past 12 months.

The Federal Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA)

In Canada, the use of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigs, vapes, or vaporizers, is currently legal for personal use. However, there are some restrictions on where they can be used, although these restrictions are not nationwide. Different provinces and municipalities have their own regulations regarding vaping. Therefore, it is important to understand the laws and regulations specific to each province to ensure compliance.

Age Restrictions

In Canada, e-cigarettes are legal, whether they contain nicotine or not. In May 2018, the Canadian government passed Bill S-5, which amended the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA)and Non-smokers’ Health Act. This new law provides a regulatory framework for the manufacturing, sale, labelling, and promotion of vaping products in Canada. Adults who are 18 years old and above are allowed to purchase vaping products containing nicotine.

Vaping Products Labelling and Packaging

The Vaping Products Labelling and Packaging Regulations (VPLPR) consist of two parts:

    1. Labelling requirements under the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA),
    2. Labelling requirements, child-resistant container requirements, and restrictions on maximum nicotine concentration under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act.

Health Warnings for Vaping Products canada

It is illegal for manufacturers to make any health claims regarding the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid or to suggest that they are a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products, unless such statements are authorized by Health Canada.

Nicotine Concentration

The TVPA limits the amount of nicotine in vaping products to 66 mg/mL. This limit is designed to prevent accidental nicotine poisoning and to discourage excessive use.

Vaping Products Advertising and Promotion Restrictions

The Vaping Products Promotion Regulations (VPPR) have two parts that outline requirements related to advertising and point of sale promotions of vaping products. Part 2 specifies the information that must be included in the advertising of vaping products. These regulations are aimed at preventing the promotion of vaping products that may be appealing to youth and ensuring that consumers are provided with accurate information about the products.

In Canada, it is illegal to promote vaping products that may appeal to youth, such as those with confectionary or candy flavors. Research has shown that youth who are exposed to e-cigarette advertising are more likely to try e-cigarettes, especially when flavored products are available. To address this, the government has given Health Canada the authority to regulate the use of health warning messages on vaping products to inform consumers of potential health risks.

Marketing restrictions are an important part of vaping regulations in Canada. Previously, e-cigarettes, vapes, and e-liquids could be marketed as smoking cessation aids, but now they can only be promoted as an alternative to traditional tobacco. Lifestyle marketing of vaping products, which could appeal to young people, is also prohibited in Canada to prevent these products from being marketed in a way that could encourage non-smokers to start using them.

For more details , please read: Vaping Products Promotion Regulations: Information Sheet

Public Space Vaping Bans

The use of e-cigarettes in public places has the potential to make smoking seem normal again and could be seen as a form of advertising for the product. To address this concern, Federal Bill S-5 has been amended to include vaping in the Non-smokers’ Health Act. This means that vaping is prohibited in federally regulated workspaces and certain modes of transportation where smoking is also banned.

The Vaping Laws by Provinces, Territories and Municipal

In addition to the federal regulations, each province and territory in Canada has its own set of laws regulating vaping. Here is a breakdown of the vaping laws in each province and territory:

Vaping Laws in Quebec

In Quebec, regulations on vaping are similar to those on smoking since 2015. Selling vaping products to people under 18 is prohibited, and now online sales to minors are also illegal. Delivery personnel are required to verify that the buyer is 18 or older.

Moreover, vaping products with candy, dessert, pot, soft drinks, and energy drinks flavors are also banned. These regulations are in addition to existing restrictions on smoking, including where smoking, whether tobacco or e-cigarettes, is not allowed.

The vaping laws in Quebec is Tobacco Control Act.  and Sale of tobacco products and smoking bans in Quebec. Under these laws, it’s forbidden to:

    • Sale and supply to minors under 18 banned, photo ID required regardless of age;
    • Sale banned wherever tobacco sales banned;
    • Vaping banned wherever smoking is banned;
    • Outdoor signage restricted, shops are only allowed to show availability and price;
    • All prohibitions that apply to tobacco promotion also apply to vape shops.

in another words, t’s FORBIDDEN to:

    •  Allow e-cigarettes and related accessories to be seen from the outside of a shop. To prevent this, you’ll need to frost your window.
    • Communicate to consumers inappropriately regarding tobacco products displayed in the shop. This means a seller cannot communicate on the alleged benefits of vaping.
    • Advertise a vaping product whose sale or distribution is forbidden. In broad terms, ad in newspapers, posters, leaflets, Facebook posts, or on any other social network are not allowed. Likewise, it is not possible for a vape seller in Quebec to own a website that promotes its products.
    • Allow clients to test products or flavours. If you run a vape shop, you can’t allow a potential client test any products nor demonstrate how they work. Both owners and clients complain about this but it’s the law.
    •  Sell, or offer products other than those related to e-cigarettes. For instance, owners or shop staff cannot offer food or water to clients, neither for free or at a price.
    • Offer loyalty cards or any discounts or coupons.
    • Sell vaping products, to minors, nor allow their presence within the shop. The client or visitor must prove he is over the age of legal majority. If the seller doubts the age of a visitor, he must ask for ID.
    • Fail to display, in full view of everyone, on the cash registers or near them, messaging regarding the ban on the sale of tobacco to minors and the health warnings from the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux

Vaping Laws in British Columbia

In March 2015, the government of British Columbia introduced a bill called the Tobacco Control Amendment Act, 2015 (also known as Bill 14), which initially aimed to prohibit the indoor use of e-cigarettes, restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to individuals under 19 years of age, and limit the advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes. The new law in BC:  Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act  in in affect at Sept. 1, 2016.

Under this law, the following are banned:

    • Sale and supply to minors (under 19);
    • Sales wherever tobacco sales are banned;
    • Vaping anywhere (inside public and work places) smoking is banned with the exception of vape shops where minors are not allowed to enter; with a maximum of two people sampling a product at the same time;
    • Vaping in cars with children under 16;
    • Vaping within six metres of doors, air intakes and open windows;
    • Any kind of promotion in stores except point of sale showing availability and price, including duty free shops;
    • All point of sale display except where minors are prohibited, permits vending machines in adult only venues, including duty free shops;
    • Kindergarten to Grade 12 school sites at all times;
    • Ban on health authority property unless in designated areas.

In November 2019, the province of British Columbia in Canada announced new regulations on vaping products. These regulations include higher taxes on vaping products, restrictions on sales and advertising, limits on the amount of nicotine allowed in the products, and constraints on the packaging of these products. The aim of these regulations is to protect public health and reduce the use of vaping products among youth.

    •  Allow e-cigarettes and related accessories to be seen from the outside of a shop. To prevent this, you’ll need to frost your window.
    • Communicate to consumers inappropriately regarding tobacco products displayed in the shop. This means a seller cannot communicate on the alleged benefits of vaping.
    • Advertise a vaping product whose sale or distribution is forbidden. In broad terms, ad in newspapers, posters, leaflets, Facebook posts, or on any other social network are not allowed. Likewise, it is not possible for a vape seller in Quebec to own a website that promotes its products.
    • Allow clients to test products or flavours. If you run a vape shop, you can’t allow a potential client test any products nor demonstrate how they work. Both owners and clients complain about this but it’s the law.
    •  Sell, or offer products other than those related to e-cigarettes. For instance, owners or shop staff cannot offer food or water to clients, neither for free or at a price.
    • Offer loyalty cards or any discounts or coupons.
    • Sell vaping products, to minors, nor allow their presence within the shop. The client or visitor must prove he is over the age of legal majority. If the seller doubts the age of a visitor, he must ask for ID.
    • Fail to display, in full view of everyone, on the cash registers or near them, messaging regarding the ban on the sale of tobacco to minors and the health warnings from the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux

Vaping Laws in Ontario

The vaping law in Ontraio is Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, under this law:

    • You must be 19 to purchase e-cigarettes and vaping supplies.
    • You can not vape in any enclosed workplace, enclosed public place, and all other areas designated as smoke/vape free.
    • Sale prohibited wherever tobacco sales are banned.
    • Use is for the purpose of sampling a vapour product
    • No more than two persons may sample a vapour product at the same time
    • Specialty vape stores must provide fresh, one-time use disposable mouthpieces for sampling, unless the electronic cigarette is the personal possession of the person sampling a vapour product.
    • The electronic cigarette must not contain Cannabis, Tobacco (i.e. Heat-Not-Burn Tobacco Products), or a Controlled Substance.

Starting from January 1, 2020, promotion of vaping products inside stores will be restricted to specialty vape shops and cannabis retail stores only, and will no longer be allowed in convenience stores and gas stations in Ontario.

Vaping Laws in Alberta

In Alberta, there is currently no provincial legislation regulating vaping, but some municipalities have implemented their own bylaws to restrict e-cigarette use in public places. The province’s health minister called for a review of tobacco and smoking legislation in October 2019, with a particular focus on regulating vaping.

In June of 2015, the City Council of Calgary implemented a by-law prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes and vaporizers in all public places where tobacco cigarettes are already banned. However, an exemption was made for standalone, enclosed retail vape shops, allowing customers to try out e-cigarettes within their stores.

This means that there are currently no provincial laws prohibiting vaping indoors, including in bars, restaurants, hotels, and other public spaces, unless specified by the individual establishment. It is always a good idea to ask for permission before using your vape in any indoor public area, although this exemption does not apply within the City of Calgary.

Vaping Laws in Manitoba

The Vaping Law in Manitoba is The Non-Smokers Health Protection and Vapour Products Act.

Under this law, the following are banned:

    • Vaping in indoor public places like schools, libraries, hospitals, malls, restaurants, indoor workplaces;
    • Vaping in cars where children under 16 are present;
    • E-cigarette advertising and promotion (similar to bans on advertising on other tobacco products).

The new law also provides exemptions for vaping in the following places:

    • Where e-cigarettes are predominately sold;
    • Designated smoking/vaping rooms in hotels and group living facilities.

Vaping Laws in Nova Scotia

The vaping laws in Nova Scotia is Smoke-free Places Act (amended) and Tobacco Access Act (amended), Under this law, the following are banned:

    • Sale and supply to minors;
    • Possession by minors;
    • Sale in pharmacies;
    • Vaping in any venue where smoking is banned;
    • Vaping on school property, in cars with children under 19, on restaurant/bar patios, within four metres of doors, windows and air intakes of workplaces;
    • Requirement to display age restriction signage;
    • Point-of-sale promotion. (Vape shops are exempt but there is a ban on any promotion from outside the shop.)

In December 2019, Nova Scotia announced a ban on all flavoured e-liquids or vaping products, which is set to come into effect on April 1, 2020. If implemented, this ban will be the strongest of any province in Canada.

Vaping Laws in New Brunswick

On July 1, 2015, the New Brunswick Government amended two acts, the Smoke-Free Places Act and the Tobacco Sales Act, to include e-cigarettes. The Tobacco Sales Act has been renamed as the Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Sales Act and now includes regulations specific to e-cigarettes. The following rules apply to the sale and use of e-cigarettes:

    • Selling e-cigarettes and related products to minors (under 19 years old) is illegal.
    • Displaying e-cigarettes and related products in a way that minors can see them is illegal.
    • Vaping is prohibited in any place where smoking is prohibited, including workplaces, public places, and vehicles with passengers under the age of 16.
    • Vape shops can allow customers to try e-cigarettes and related products, but they cannot be sold to minors.
    • All e-cigarettes and related products must be sold in their original packaging with proper labeling.
    • Vape shops must be licensed by the province and have strict regulations in place for the storage and sale of e-cigarettes and related products.

Vaping Laws in Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan, there is currently no provincial legislation on vaping. However, some municipalities have their own bylaws to restrict e-cigarette use in public places.

In November 2019, the province’s health minister announced plans to introduce legislation to regulate the sale and use of vaping products, including a ban on the sale of flavoured vaping products, a limit on nicotine content, and restrictions on advertising and promotion. However, as of early 2023, no such legislation has been passed.

In Saskatoon, vaping is not allowed in places where smoking cigarettes is prohibited by law. However, there is an exemption that allows vaping inside vape shops. It is always a good idea to check with individual establishments before vaping indoors, as some may have their own policies in place.

Vaping Laws in Newfoundland and Labrador

In Newfoundland and Labrador, vaping is prohibited in all indoor public places, workplaces, and vehicles where smoking is also banned. The ban includes all types of e-cigarettes, whether they contain nicotine or not. The province has also restricted the sale of vaping products to minors, and it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under 19 years of age. Additionally, all e-cigarette products sold in the province must meet certain labeling and packaging requirements.

The Vaping Laws in Newfoundland and Labrador is Smoke-Free Environment Act, Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act in effect at June 7, 2016.

Under the law, the following are banned:

    • Sale to minors under 19;
    • Sale banned wherever tobacco sales banned;
    • Point-of-sale promotion, products and promotional materials cannot be visible inside or outside the shop;
    • Restrictions on signage inside shops;
    • Vape shops only allowed to operate if the only business conducted is the sale of vapour products.

Vaping Laws in Prince Edward Island

As of June 1, 2015, Prince Edward Island implemented a province-wide ban on indoor vaping wherever smoking is also prohibited. This includes public places, workplaces, and vehicles with children under the age of 16. The ban also includes outdoor patios of restaurants and bars. The use of e-cigarettes is still permitted in designated smoking areas in some hotels, long-term care facilities, and psychiatric facilities. It is also allowed in vape shops for the purpose of sampling products. There is a fine for violating the ban.

The Vaping Laws in Prince Edward Island is Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Device Sales and Access Act in effect at Oct. 1, 2015.

Under this law, the following are banned:

    • Sale and supply to minors and purchase by minors;
    • Sale where tobacco sale is banned;
    • Vaping in indoor public spaces and workplaces;
    • Vaping in cars with children under 19, on restaurant/bar patios except between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., within 4.5 metres of doors and air intakes;
    • Vaping on construction sites;
    • Point of sale promotion and promotion visible from outside retail premises;
    • Outdoor signage;
    • Any advertising that is misleading regarding the characteristics, health effects and health hazards of these devices.

In Prince Edward Island, new legislation is awaiting royal assent which will raise the minimum age for purchasing vaping products to 21 from 19. This will be the highest minimum age in the country. The legislation will also place restrictions on where vaping products can be sold and ban certain flavours.

Vaping Laws in Northwest Territories

As of now, there are no specific territorial or municipal regulations, laws, or bills related to vaping in the Northwest Territories. This means there are no laws prohibiting vaping indoors in public places such as bars, restaurants, and hotels, unless the establishment has its own rules in place. However, it is always a good idea to ask for permission before using a vape in any indoor public area as a sign of courtesy.

The Smoking Control and Reduction Act passed in August 2019, but is not yet in effect.

And the Banning the Sale of flavoured Vapour Products take effective on March 25, 2022, the sale of flavoured vapour products will be banned in the Northwest Territories.

Vaping Laws in Nunavut

Currently, there are no territorial or municipal regulations/laws/bills for vaping in Nunavut. This means there are no specific restrictions on where vaping can take place, but it is always recommended to ask for permission before vaping in any indoor public area.

In Nunavut, amendments to the Tobacco Control and Smoke-Free Places Act were implemented on September 4, 2018 to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited. The specific places where vaping is banned, such as in vehicles with children under 16, may differ across the country and may be covered under various laws and regulations.

Vaping Laws in Yukon

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Control and Regulation Act has been proclaimed by the Government of Yukon and is now in force. This new Act replaces the Smoke-Free Places Act and regulates the use, sale, display and promotion of tobacco and vaping products in Yukon.

A number of changes will immediately take effect, including the following:

    • an individual must be 19 years old to sell or to use tobacco and vaping products in Yukon;
    • different restrictions will apply regarding the use and promotion of vaping products, similar to the current restrictions regarding tobacco products; and
    • signage must include “no vaping” in addition to “no smoking.”

Municipal Vaping Laws

In addition to federal and provincial regulations, many municipalities across Canada have also enacted their own vaping laws. These laws can vary widely, so it’s important to check with your local government to find out the specific regulations in your area.

Some common municipal vaping laws include:

    • Prohibiting the use of vaping products in parks and other public spaces
    • Banning the sale of vaping products in certain locations, such as near schools
    • Requiring retailers to obtain a license to sell vaping products

Vaping Tax In Canada

In Canada, vaping products are subject to excise taxes at the federal level, and some provinces also have additional taxes on these products. The federal excise tax rate for vaping products is currently set at 20% of the manufacturer’s price, and it applies to all vaping liquids and devices sold in Canada. Some provinces, such as British Columbia and Nova Scotia, have also implemented additional provincial taxes on vaping products. The purpose of these taxes is to discourage vaping and raise revenue for public health initiatives.

vaping excise taxes in Canada

image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Starting from October 2022, the Canadian government has implemented an excise duty on vaping products. This duty applies to all vaping substances that are imported or manufactured in Canada for use in a vaping device.

The rate for this excise duty is $1 for every 2ml of the first 10ml of vaping liquid and $1 for every 10ml for amounts over the first 10ml.

The vaping duty is calculated based on the quantity of vaping liquid in each pod, not total volume. For example, a package with 4 pods of 1.5ml will be charged $4 of vaping duty, and a 30ml bottle of vaping liquid will be charged an excise duty of $7 ($5 for the first 10ml and then $2 for the remaining 20ml).

To clarify, the cost of the new excise stamp on vaping products is borne by businesses, not customers. However, some companies may choose to increase prices to offset the additional tax, which could result in higher costs for vapers. This increase in cost may already be noticeable for some vapers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, vaping laws and regulations in Canada vary from province to province, with some provinces having stricter rules than others. While some provinces ban flavored e-liquids, others have implemented age restrictions and indoor vaping bans. It is important to stay informed about the vaping laws in your area and to always ask for permission before vaping in any public indoor area. Moreover, the federal government has recently introduced an excise duty on vaping products, which may result in an increase in prices for vapers. As the vaping industry continues to grow, it is expected that more regulations will be introduced in the future.

FAQs

  1. What is the legal age to purchase and use vaping products in Canada?
    The legal age varies by province and territory, but it is generally either 18 or 19 years old.
  1. What are the key provisions of the federal Tobacco and Vaping Products Act?
    The key provisions include age restrictions, labelling requirements, limits on nicotine concentration, and restrictions on promotion and advertising.
  1. Are there municipal vaping laws in Canada?
    Yes, many municipalities have enacted their own vaping laws in addition to federal and provincial regulations.
  1. Can I use vaping products in public places in Canada?
    It depends on the specific regulations in your area. Many municipalities have banned the use of vaping products in public spaces.
  1. Where can I go for more information about vaping laws in Canada?
    You can consult with your local government or a knowledgeable vaping expert for more information.

Matthew Ma
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