Sale, promotion, and use of tobacco and vapour products – part I

In British Columbia, the sale, promotion, and use of tobacco and vapour products are regulated by the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act and the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Regulation.


The laws in British Columbia:
• Prohibit the sale of tobacco and vapour products to a person under 19 years of age
• Prohibit the display and promotion of tobacco and vapour products at retail in a manner that can be seen, accessed, or heard by minors
• Prohibit the sale and use of tobacco and vapour products in certain places
Vapour products are further regulated under the E-Substances Regulation:
• Prohibits the sale of e-substances that do not contain nicotine or nicotine salts
• Restricts the sale of flavoured e-substances to age-restricted sales facilities
• Imposes requirements regarding the nicotine concentration, volume, labelling and packaging of e-substances
• Prohibits the advertisement of vapour products in any place, by any means that can be seen, accessed, or heard by minors


Tobacco and Vapour Enforcement Officers (TVEOs) enforce provincial legislation on the sale, promotion and use of tobacco and vapour products. The legislation enforced by TVEOs are Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act, Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Regulations and E-Substances Regulations.


High school students between the ages of 15 and 17 are recruited and trained as minor test shoppers. They help officers determine if retailers are selling tobacco or vapour products to minors.

A progressive enforcement model is used to bring retailers into compliance with regulatory requirements. Officers will educate and issue warnings before seeking penalties such as fines and suspensions.


Information for retailers:
Contact your local tobacco enforcement officer:
• To obtain signage
• To update your retail information
• For general questions or comments
Tobacco retailers must obtain a Tobacco Retailer Authorization from the BC Ministry of Finance.
Vapour product retailers must submit a Notice of Intent to the BC Ministry of Health.
• E-Substances Regulation – Notice of Intent to Sell E-Substances and Reporting Requirements
• Requirements under the Public Health Act and E-Substances Regulation – BC Ministry of Health
• B.C.’s E-Substances Regulation: Retailers’ Guide

For general questions, or to report violations of tobacco and vapour product control laws, please contact hptobacco@fraserhealth.ca or 604-870-7900.


Resources
Fraser Health
• Vaping products
• Tobacco and youth
• Quitting smoking
• Quitting smoking for your heart


BC Ministry of Health
• Tobacco and vapour products

Health Canada
• Tobacco and Vaping Products Act