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Canada’s Hazy Vaping Product Laws!

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Canada’s rules on vaping products have been undergoing substantial change over the last little while, starting with the 2018 enactment of the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (“TVPA”). While the TVPA set up a new regulatory framework, the rules have seemingly grown in complexity since, with far-reaching implications for manufacturers, importers, retailers and any other business involved in the vaping industry.

Overview of Vaping Products Regulation in Canada

Canada has several federal statutes which regulate vaping products depending on both the ingredients used in the vaping product and how it is marketed – including the TVPA and the Food and Drugs Act (“FDA”), among others. In addition to these statutes, Canada has a complex web of regulations which cover everything from nicotine concentration restrictions to packaging and labelling requirements. (For vaping products that contain tobacco or cannabis, there are even bigger issues at play.)

Provincially, governments have also been active in regulating vaping products, and just how that is done – including what products are being regulated – varies widely between jurisdictions. For example, despite the minimum age for purchasing vaping products set out in the TVPA, provinces are able to impose stricter requirements. Other provincial rules are aimed at flavouring restrictions, advertising controls, and proof of age requirements. Understanding and complying with these additional measures requires a step-by-step comprehensive approach.

Tightening Restrictions and Excise Duties

The federal government has also been making moves recently to tighten its relatively loose standards for non-tobacco vaping products (at least relative to how products containing tobacco are regulated).

Health Canada appears to be moving along the path to implementing reporting requirements (which are provided for in the TVPA but have not been defined to-date), which would be in addition to other consumer product requirements. The current plan appears to be to merge the reporting requirements for vaping products with those which already exist for tobacco products, into one set of regulations.

Health Canada also looks like it may set significant limits on flavoured products – moving from the restrictions on promotion and to outright bans – which some provinces (like Nova Scotia) have already done.

Last but not least, Parliament has passed a number of tax changes, including amendments to the Excise Act, 2001, which will expand federal excise duties, licensing and stamping requirements to vaping products. These changes are set to come into force on October 1, 2022 and will effectively impose a new tax on vaping products!

Specialized Advice Required

Unfortunately, the dynamics of Canadian regulation of vaping products means that businesses looking to enter the Canadian market for vaping products cannot rely on a one-size-fits-all approach!

The regulatory landscape is complex and makes specialized legal advice a necessity when operating in this space. However, with the right guidance, businesses looking capitalize on this relatively new market can thrive.

Do you require assistance in this area?  If so, please click here.

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