British Columbia Legislation
On June 10th, 2016, the government of British Columbia announced that new laws around the sale, promotion and use of e-cigarettes will come into effect on Sept. 1, 2016.
The CVA initially met with the Minister of Health’s office when the legislation was originally introduced in March, 2015. It should be noted that the BC government's original intention was to regulate the use of vapour products in the same manner as it regulates smoking, however, the CVA has worked to ensure our members opposition to this was heard. As such, we were able to participate in the consultations since that original introductory meeting and as a result, the BC government has attempted to address some of our concerns.
The specific requirements under the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act and Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Regulation can be found in the attachment provided.
Key points of the regulations are:
- Use of e-cigarettes will be prohibited in all of the places where smoking is currently prohibited
- Only adults over the age of 19 can purchase a vapour product
- If a store only allows adults to enter the store, then the display and promotion of vapour products is permitted. However, vapour products or their advertisements must not be visible from outside the store.
- Under the new legislation, anyone selling vapour products must post two mandated warning signs at the cash till or point of sale
- Vapour products cannot be used inside of substantially enclosed public or workplaces. This includes places such as offices, malls, cafés, stores and other places in which the public can enter and/or people work, along with the break rooms and bathrooms within these sites.
- An exception was provided in the Regulations to allow customers in adult-only vapour products stores to learn how to use vapour products or to test products that they wish to buy. The exception has the following conditions:
- Retailers/employees can hold and activate vapour products only for the purpose of showing customers how to use the product.
- Retailers/employees cannot inhale or use the vapour product.
- A customer can sample an e-substance in the store if:
- They are testing or sampling products that they intend to purchase and consume off-site; and
- Only two customers may sample vapour products at any time in a retail store.
- Retailers/employees cannot use vapour products on site.
- Retailers must take steps to ensure the second hand vapour does not escape to adjacent premises or public areas.
Please refer to the attachment for all of the details.
To date, British Columbia, alongside Manitoba, has taken the most liberal and balanced stance on vaping of all the Canadian provinces in part as a result of the efforts by the CVA in providing information to the policy makers.
While we are pleased that some of our concerns have been addressed in these regulations, the CVA still strongly believes that regulations pertaining to vaping should be evidence based. Unfortunately, much of these regulations are not evidence based and as such, the CVA will remain committed to working on behalf of our members to achieve fair and reasonable regulations for the industry in BC as well as the rest of Canada.