Federal legislation governing the vapour-products industry in Canada received Royal Assent on May 23, 2018. The CVA is working with Health Canada and other stakeholders to help craft regulations surrounding the legislation.

This bill, which is commonly referred to as Bill S-5, represents an important shift in the regulatory environment, as it allows vapour products, including nicotine-containing e-liquids that are not marketed as therapeutic, or smoking cessation devices, to be legally marketed to Canadians (previously, Health Canada claimed that it had to approve e-cigarette devices, in order for them to legally enter the Canadian market). When all its provisions come into force, Bill S-5 will:

  • Ban the sale of e-cigarettes to persons under the age of 18 (with the provision that provinces can set a higher minimum age);
  • Allow regulators to set packaging requirements, require e-liquid manufacturers to display health warnings, nicotine levels and ingredients, and have e-liquids fall under existing Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations;
  • Ban sales of electronic cigarettes through vending machines and force online retailers to require age verification on all shipments;
  • Ban certain ingredients in e-liquids, such as vitamins and caffeine;
  • Allow regulators to ban certain flavours;
  • Place numerous restrictions on advertising, including:
    • A ban on lifestyle advertising (appears relaxing, enjoyable, sexy, fun, etc.), except:
      • In publications sent directly to adults (such as adult magazines); and
      • In places where people under the age of 18 are not permitted.
    • No advertising directed toward underage people, including:
      • Any logos, symbols or illustrations that could be seen as appealing to children; and
      • The promotion of any flavours that could be seen as appealing to young people (such as desert or candy flavours).
    • A prohibition on making claims on the health effects of e-cigarettes compared to tobacco products, except in the case of statements specifically approved under the regulations;
    • A ban on the use of testimonials and endorsements.
  • Allow brand-preference advertising (brand name and price);
  • Place restrictions on vaping in federally regulated workplaces;
  • Allow for the importation of vapour products, as long as they meet Canadian requirements.

The Canadian Vaping Association was actively involved in the legislative process surround Bill S-5, including meeting with Health Canada, officials from the Health Minister’s office, as well as appearing before the HESA committee. The CVA is currently working with Health Canada to gain a better understanding of how the legislation will affect vapers, manufacturers and retailers. The CVA will continue its lobbying and outreach efforts, to ensure that federal regulations are both fair and balanced, in order to maintain the long-term viability of the vapour products industry in Canada.