If you are going to be working in the vape industry in Canada, there are a host of regulations that you need to be aware of and follow in order to legally manufacture, Import, distribute, and sell vape products. While many of these regulatory measures are implemented at the manufacturing or import stage, retailers selling vape products still need to be aware of all applicable regulations and make sure that the products on their shelves are compliant with both federal and provincial guidelines.
Federal Vaping Regulations
At the federal level, there are several pieces of legislation that govern vape products manufactured or imported for sale in Canada. The majority of laws/regulations on vape products are laid out in the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA) and Nicotine Concentration in Vaping Products Regulations (NCVPR). The TVPA set standards for the manufacture of vaping products including a list of banned ingredients and making certain information available to the public. The NCVPR established a ban on any e-liquid that exceeds 20 mg/mL of nicotine.
The TVPA also established a number of guideline for the packaging and labelling of vape products intended for retail sale in Canada under the Vaping Products Labelling and Packaging Regulations (VPLPR), such as the need for child-resistant containers, learn more about CRC requirements in Canadian Vape CRC Requirements & Guidelines. The VPLPR also requires labeling that reflects adherence to the maximum nicotine concentration of 20 mg/mL and includes mandatory health warnings.
Health warnings are also mandatory on all advertisements under the Vaping Products Promotion Regulations (VPPR). Additionally, the VPPR established requirements for advertising that prohibit vape companies from marketing their products in spaces where minors are present as well as guidelines for point-of-sale promotions.
As a vape product retailer, the guidelines around point-of-sale promotions concern you directly. The general purpose of these guidelines is to protect young persons from exposure to vape advertisements. This means that vape shops cannot display vape products or advertisements in their windows or storefront displays and locations that sell vapes that aren’t dedicated vape shops, like gas stations and convenience stores, cannot advertise anywhere in the shop as there is no age restriction to access the store itself.
Another regulation that will affect retailers is the federal excise tax on vaping products through the Excise Tax Act, 2001 (ETA). While you as a retailer will not have to deal with paying the excise tax directly or be responsible for affixing the required stamps or submitting appropriate paperwork to the government, you will need to ensure that all of the products you receive from your wholesaler are appropriately stamped for legal sale in Canada. You can read more about the specifics of the federal excise tax on vape products in What Is The Federal Excise Vape Tax and How Will It Affect You
The best way to ensure that the products you are stocking in your shop adhere to all of the applicable regulations is to work with a trusted wholesaler in Canada that knows the industry inside and out like Valor Distributions. Not only can you rest easy knowing that the vaping products you order from Valor will meet federal regulations, but you can also benefit from our extensive knowledge and experience in the industry, which can help you make informed decisions about which products to stock and how to market them effectively. By partnering with a reputable wholesaler like Valor Distributions, you can build a strong foundation for your business and ensure long-term success.
British Columbia has long been at the forefront of vaping regulation, putting guidelines and restrictions in place long before federal requirements were solidified and even inspiring certain measures adopted by Canadian regulatory bodies like Health Canada. The province was the first to implement a tax on vape products and has led the way on measures like retail licensing and registration, a minimum legal vaping age of 19, and bans on billboards and outdoor signs advertising vaping products.
In British Columbia, there are specific regulations in place for disposable vapes and closed pods, which restrict their capacity to a maximum of 2mL of e-liquid. Additionally, there are other regulations unique to the province, such as a prohibition on products containing both nicotine and cannabis, as well as a ban on 0 nicotine e-liquids that solely contain flavorings. The size of e-liquid bottles is also limited in BC, with a maximum capacity of 30mL. Furthermore, flavored e-liquids and pre-filled vaping products can only be sold at age-restricted retail locations in the province. Vaping products sold at non-restricted locations, such as gas stations and convenience stores, are limited to tobacco flavors only.
Alberta’s vaping regulation is the Tobacco, Smoking, and Vaping Reduction Act (TSVRA) which establishes a minimum legal age of 18 in order to purchase vape products and requires retailers to card anyone under the age of 25. The TSVRA also restricts where vape products can be used with bans on vaping in hospitals, schools and other childcare facilities, playgrounds, skate parks, sporting fields, public pools and splash zones, outdoor theatres, and zoos to keep vaping out of spaces frequented by young people in an attempt to stem the rise in youth vaping.
Under the TSVRA, retailers in Alberta that are not age-restricted, like gas stations and convenience stores, cannot display any advertisements for or promotions of vaping products. There are also restrictions on the sale of vaping products in certain locations, barring retailers from health facilities, college and university campuses, stores that also contain a pharmacy and any temporary retail location like a vending machine or mobile cart.
Saskatchewan is another province that has its own additional tax on vaping products and restricts the sale of flavoured vape products to age-restricted retail locations only. Other vape retailers, like convenience stores and gas stations, are only permitted to sell tobacco and menthol or mint-flavoured vaping products. The regulation also requires adult-only vape retailers to post a sign on their front entrance stating that customers must be at least 18 to enter.
Newer regulations also apply to where it is legal to vape in Saskatchewan. Vaping is no longer permitted in any enclosed public space nor within 3 metres of any doorway, window, or HVAC intake of a public building. Specific locations frequented by young people are also regulated as non-vaping areas such as school grounds, arcades, amusement parks, and theatres.
In Manitoba, there is a minimum age limit of 19 years old for purchasing vaping products. The province does not have many additional regulations in place beyond those covered by federal legislation. However, there are some specific places where vaping is prohibited, such as indoor workplaces, group living facilities, public transportation, and enclosed public spaces, as well as on beaches or playgrounds located within provincial parks. Moreover, in the city of Winnipeg, there are bylaws in place that specify a minimum allowable distance for vaping.
In Winnipeg, you cannot vape on an outdoor patio, at a playground, on any part of the premises of a non-post secondary school regardless of whether it is a public of private school, anywhere on the premises of a hospital or health care facility, nor within 8 metres of the entrance of any health care facility or city workplace. For locations where youth events take place like common fields, athletic fields, or ice rinks, and for swimming pools, splash zones, spray pads, and other interactive water features run by the city, vaping is not allowed within a full 30 metres.
Ontario has a number of regulations within the province in addition to the requirements of the federal regulations including a minimum vaping age of 19 requiring anyone that appears to be under the age of 25 to provide proof of age in order to purchase vape products in the province. The provincial regulations also require dedicated vape shops with more than 85% of sales (or total inventory) coming from vapes to register with the province as dedicated vape retailers.
Similar to the regulations around flavoured vaped products in Saskatchewan, Ontario also limits the sale of flavoured vape products to dedicated vape shops with age restrictions only, with gas stations and convenience stores only able to sell tobacco, mint, and menthol-flavoured vape products. Ontario also only allows the sale of high-nicotine e-liquids at adult-only vape retailers and prohibits the sale of vape products on college and university campuses.
Quebec has quite a few additional regulations regarding vaping products while maintaining a minimum vaping age of only 18. One regulation that is in effect in Quebec and nowhere else in Canada is a ban on online sales of vaping products. As a retailer in Quebec, you must also register and receive a license to operate within the province.
The vaping regulations in Quebec also prohibit advertising of electronic cigarettes except in magazines with at least 85% adult readership and bar access to specialty vape shops for anyone under 18 years of age. Vaping use in the province is prohibited everywhere that cigarette smoking is also not permitted. While flavoured cigarettes are banned in the province, there are not yet any bans on vaping flavours and flavoured e-liquids can even be sold at convenience stores and gas stations where many provinces have limited those sales to age-restricted vape shops only.
In New Brunswick, there is a minimum age limit of 19 years old for purchasing vaping products. The province has implemented several regulations and restrictions on these products, including a complete ban on flavored vape products and flavor additives for e-liquids that are not tobacco-flavored. Additionally, all vape retailers are required to obtain a license from the province.
The bulk of New Brunswick’s regulations on vaping deal with permissible vaping locations. Smoking, vaping, and cannabis use are banned from all enclosed public places, workspaces, group living facilities, and public transit vehicles as well as in any vehicle with a person under the age of 16 present and any shared work vehicle. Vaping is also banned in certain outdoor environments in New Brunswick such as school grounds, regional health authority grounds, outdoor patios where food or drinks are served and within 3 metres of the patio boundary, provincial parks, walking and jogging trails, anywhere within 9 metres of doorways, windows, or air intakes for public buildings are shared workspaces, and within 20 metres of playgrounds or sports areas.
Nova Scotia is another province that applies its own tax to vaping products along with requiring vape retailers to register with the province. There is also a full ban on flavoured vaping products, aside from tobacco flavours, in Nova Scotia with a minimum vaping age of 19 years of age. Additionally, Nova Scotia also restricts promotions at the point of sale and restricts product displays outside of age-restricted vape shops.
Prince Edward Island has some of the strictest regulations on vaping of any province with a minimum vaping age of 21, a full ban on all flavours of vape products other than tobacco, and the sale of vapes limited to registered tobacconist shops only. The province is also looking at an additional tax as high as 20% on all vape products sold within the province.
Newfoundland and Labrador instituted a 20% tax on all vape products as of 2021 and also requires vape retailers to register with the province to receive appropriate licensing. The minimum vaping age in Newfoundland and Labrador is 19 and was established in the provinces Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act. The Smoke-Free Environment Act establishes where you can and cannot use vaping products regulated by the province.
Vaping regulations in Yukon set a minimum vaping age of 19 years old and make it illegal to sell to anyone younger than the minimum age. The territory’s regulations on vaping also require updated signage to include vaping in all “no smoking” signs as vaping is barred from the same locations as cigarette smoking. Other regulations around smoking also apply to vaping like limiting where vape products can be sold or advertised.
In the Northwest Territories, there is a minimum age limit of 19 years old for purchasing vaping products. Although the province has not implemented many additional regulations beyond the federal requirements, it has imposed a ban on flavored vaping products. Only unflavored vapes and vapes with tobacco-based flavors can be sold within the Northwest Territories.
Nunavut requires retailers to register for licensing and submit product reports to the government of the territory as part of its Tobacco and Smoking Act. This new legislation also bans incentives to retailers as well as establishing price restrictions and banning all non-tobacco flavoured vaping products. While the legislation has passed, there has been no formal confirmation that it has been implemented or is being enforced at this time.
The previous legislation, the Tobacco Control and Smoke-Free Places Act, established a minimum vaping age of 19 years old and set out guidelines for where vaping is allowed in Nunavut. Similar to other provinces, vaping is prohibited in indoor public spaces, workplaces, schools and daycares, health facilities, playgrounds, and within 9 metres of the entrance to any indoor space where vaping is banned.
With so many regulations to be aware of at both the federal and provincial levels, it is essential for retailers to make sure they are sourcing their products from a reputable vape wholesaler in Canada that knows the industry inside and out. When you get your wholesale vapes from Valor Distributions, you can rest easy knowing that our team of experts has addressed every issue of compliance to bring you the highest quality vaping products ready for sale in any Canadian province.
Thanks to our prime warehouse location in Ontario, we are able to offer the fastest shipping times at the best prices. With no minimum order requirement and top-of-the-industry customer service, there’s no reason not to place your next wholesale vape order with Valor Distributions.