Vaporizers have grown in popularity over recent years and are now more popular than tobacco cigarettes among teens. Every time you step outside nowadays, you’ll almost certainly see at least one or two people vaping. While vaping isn’t as harmful as smoking, there are still risks and issues with vaping in public spaces. Both the Federal and most Provincial governments have seen it necessary to create vaping regulations for Canada, so let’s look at them today.
On the federal level, there are no restrictions imposed on the use of e-cigarettes or vapes. Different provinces will have different vaping regulations, however, which place restrictions on who can buy vapes, e-cigarettes, vape juice and other accessories and where you’re able to use the devices. It’s no challenge to find a vape shop in any city in Canada and it may soon become a reality to find a vape lounge nearby.
Let’s look at each Province’s vaping regulations as they stand right now.
Vaping Regulations by Province
Since March of 2015 the Province’s vaping regulations have been dictated by its Tobacco Control Amendment Act. It originally banned e-cigarettes (vapes being categorized with them) from being used indoors in any location outside of a private residence, but an amendment in February of 2016 made it so that individual establishments have their own authority to determine whether vaping will be allowed. Naturally, however, most establishments do not allow vaping indoors as it will upset some customers.
The act also prohibits the sale of vaporizers to anyone younger than 19 years of age and has placed restrictions on how vapes can be promoted or advertised.
Alberta is one Province where a lack of provincial vaping regulations means you’re free to use e-cigarettes and vaporizers pretty much anywhere you’d like. One city is an exception to this, and that’s Calgary. A city bylaw passed in Calgary in 2015 makes it so that vaping is now prohibited anywhere that smoking tobacco is.
The one exception is for any vape shop in the city, where customers can test products before their purchase. Like B.C., individual establishments have the right to prohibit vaping inside their spaces.
The situation is the same in Saskatchewan as it is in Alberta; there are no Provincial vaping regulations limiting where you can vape. Saskatoon is the only exception, where municipal legislation bans them in the same way Calgary has – anywhere where tobacco use is already prohibited.
Three years ago seems to be the time that most Provinces chose to introduce vaping regulations, and Manitoba did as well. Their Bill 30 is called the Non-Smokers Health Protection Amendment Act. It too bans the use of e-cigarettes and vapes anywhere that smoking tobacco is prohibited, and also excludes the local vape shop or vape lounge. Prospective customers can try products at the shops, and one notable difference in Manitoba is guests in hotels or group living facilities are allowed to vape there.
Bill 30 in Manitoba makes it illegal to sell any type of these products to those under the age of 18. Individual establishments in Manitoba also have the right to prohibit vaping in their places.
Vaping regulations in Ontario are currently not as far reaching as they are in other Provinces. Since January 1st of 2016, you need to be 19 years or older to buy e-cigarettes and vaping supplies, but that’s the only real stipulation there currently. You can vape anywhere you like in public, and there is no legal restriction in place prohibiting the activity in bars, restaurants, and the like. However, much like elsewhere, these establishments can ban vaping if they choose to.
Quebec acted in 2015 as well, and in fact their vaping regulations via Bill 44 are pretty much the strictest in all of Canada. Electronic cigarettes and vapes are subject to the same controls as tobacco products (essentially banning them from use in typical public locations like elsewhere), and they are not to be advertised and promoted for sale in retail locations. Online sale of these products is also banned, and of course sale to anyone under 18 is illegal. In addition, vape shops in Quebec are not able to offer free samples to prospective customers.
Clearly the risks posed by vaping are seen to be much more serious in Quebec than elsewhere.
In July of 2015 New Brunswick expanded their existing tobacco control acts to also cover electronic cigarettes and vapes. Since then people under the age of 19 are not allowed to buy the products, and they are not allowed to enter a vape shop without adult accompaniment. These shops are not allowed to advertise on the exterior of their premises, and again like most provinces specific location bans on tobacco extend to vaping and e-cigarettes too.
Significant restrictions on the sale and use of vaporizers and electronic cigarettes exist in Nova Scotia as well. They are prohibited in any area where tobacco use is already prohibited, and point-of-sale advertising in retail locations is not allowed. Sale to minors is prohibited as well, and like New Brunswick minors may not even enter a retail location unless accompanied by an adult.
Newfoundland and Labrador
At this time there are no vaping regulations in place for Newfoundland and Labrador. Individual establishments will determine whether vaping is allowed on the premises.
Prince Edward Island
PEI’s Bill 9 is their Smoke-Free Places Act, but aside from putting restrictions on the use of tobacco in public places there isn’t anything that pertains to vaping. It is expected that this will soon change, and especially in regard to the sale of the products. At this time, however, there are no vaping regulations against vaping inside establishments like bars, restaurants, etc.
Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon
There are no territorial or municipal vaping regulations prohibiting or limiting the use or sale of vaporizers in any of Canada's 3 territories.
For provincial regulations concerning cannabis and cannabis use, please take a look at our Regulations page.
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