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Business Law

Canadian Vaping Rules and Regulations: Navigating Through the Mist

Jun 1st, 2021

By Jordan Jaslow

Ever since vaping products were introduced to the Canadian market, there has been a lot of uncertainty concerning the laws and regulations implemented to govern the use and distribution of these products. At first, vaping products were viewed as a means to replace combustible cigarettes and as such, did not require much regulation. However, over the years the technology in these devices has significantly developed which enhanced the resulting product. This has led to increased popularity in vaping products which prompted the Canadian government to intervene. In 2018, the Federal Government introduced the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (the “TVPA”). The TVPA marked a significant change in the regulatory framework surrounding vaping products. Its purpose is to regulate the manufacture, sale, labelling and promotion of vaping products throughout Canada. In addition to the TVPA, vaping products must additionally comply with the following Acts and Regulations, amongst others:

  • Canada Consumer Product Safety Act
  • Food and Drugs Act
  • Vaping Products Labelling and Packaging Regulations
  • Vaping Products Promotion Regulations

By contrast, in Quebec, vaping products and its accessories are governed under the Tobacco Control Act (the “Act”) and the Regulation under the Tobacco Control Act (the “Regulation”). Vaping products, otherwise known as electronic cigarettes (with or without nicotine) are subject to the same provisions as tobacco products with respect to the sale, promotion and advertising of these products. As a result, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers of electronic cigarette products must comply with the rules set out in the Act.

In Quebec, vaping products and its accessories may not be sold at retail except in a vaping retail outlet, with both the operator of the retail outlet or an employee of the operator and the purchaser physically present. For the purposes of the Act, a vaping retail outlet is a “fixed place permanently delimited by continuous floor-to-ceiling partitions or walls that is accessible only through an opening equipped with a door”, within which electronic cigarettes are sold at retail by the operator of the place. Consequently, the online sale of vaping products and its accessories is prohibited, as are mail order sales and interprovincial sales.

Currently, it is permitted to distribute electronic cigarette products in Quebec that contain added flavours or aroma to the liquids, such as menthol, fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa flavour or aroma. However, this may soon change as Quebec has announced its plans to ban flavoured products, with the exception of tobacco flavored products, and to limit nicotine concentrations in vaping products. This remains to be determined.

The regulations concerning vaping products in Canada, although relatively new, are rapidly evolving as the vaping industry grows. Consequently, whether it be related to the sale, manufacturing, distribution, packaging, labelling, advertising or importation of vaping products and accessories, there are several rules and regulations one must comply with. It is of the utmost importance that these rules and regulations be followed both at the federal and provincial levels. If not, operators may potentially be fined or prohibited from selling these types of products.

Spiegel Sohmer is eager to provide insight, advice, and assistance to its clients in the vaping industry. We encourage you to reach out to us.