Summary of recent developments:
- In November 2019, the government announced many changes to vaping rules including higher taxes (20%), restrictions on sales and advertising, limits on nicotine content and constraints on packaging
- Government expects to introduce draft regulations on flavour bans in March 2020
- The tax on tobacco products increased as of January 1, 2020 by two cents
Under BC’s Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act and the accompanying regulations, vapour products are regulated in the same way as tobacco products. Tobacco and vapour products cannot be sold to minors or promoted publicly. They cannot be used in public buildings and workplaces, near doorways or air intakes of public buildings, or on school property.
The BC government has been a key driver of advocacy efforts to curb vaping at the national level. It presented various recommendations during the consolations launched by the federal government, and BC’s Health Minister Adrian Dix (NDP) already announced that stricter regulations would be implemented in BC regardless of what the federal government does. To that effect, he launched over this summer consultations that target marketing around vaping.
The outcome of those consultations resulted in a joint announcement with Minister Dix, Education Minister Rob Fleming and Finance Minister Carole James in November. They stated the new rules on vaping products would include the following:
In effect as of January 1, 2020
- Tax increase on vaping products from 7 per cent to 20 per cent
- Tax increase to the tobacco tax rate by two cents
Coming into effect April 1, 2020
- A cap on the nicotine content of all vaping pods to 20mg/ml
- Flavoured products will only be sold in vape-specific shops with age restrictions
- Vaping products must be sold in plain packaging with health warnings
- Ban on advertising in public spaces like bus shelters or parks where young people gather
The Ministry invited comments on the proposed regulations through a consultation period that ended January 24, 2020.
Further, Minister Dix said BC will also ban some flavours that “clearly attract young people,” but those have yet to be defined.
In order to “de-normalize” vaping, the government will launch a social media campaign led by youth.
Leave a Comment
Stay in the Loop
Receive updates and important news sent directly to your inbox.