How Old Do You Have To Be to Vape in Canada?
Canada has a federal regulation against selling vapes to minors. However, each province has its own laws. Understanding the different age requirements can be confusing as they vary depending on your location, but we’re here to set the record straight.
Pay close attention to your province’s evolving laws to be in compliance while purchasing or using vape devices.
In this guide, we’ll share various laws in each province and their minimum age requirements.
What Is the Age Limit for Vaping in Canada?
With the rising popularity of vaping among younger individuals, it’s essential to understand the legal framework that governs its usage. In 2020, the Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey found that 14% of those aged 15 to 19 in Canada vaped within the last 30 days, and 35% had tried vaping at some point in their lives.
Canada prevents selling vaping products to anyone under the age of 18 (in some areas, the age is higher, at 19 or 21). The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act of 2018 also prevents vaping companies from advertising in a way that could appeal to young people.
While the federal limit sets the age limit to 18, provinces can set a higher age limit for vape product sales. Below we’ll discuss the age requirements for each province.
In Alberta, it is illegal to provide vaping or tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18.
In British Columbia, sales and supply are banned to all minors under 19.
In 2020, they announced that e-liquids and vapour pods could only contain a maximum of 20 milligrams of nicotine per millilitre and must have health warnings on their labels.
Also, vaping inside public places and workplaces is banned.
In Manitoba, people must be at least 18 to vape. They’ve also banned vaping in areas like enclosed public places, indoor workplaces, group living facilities, public vehicles, and more.
Specific cities, like Winnipeg, have further bans on vaping and smoking in specific places. In Winnipeg, for example, this includes outdoor patios, on the premises of a health care facility, and more.
Per the Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Sales Act, people must be 19 or older to buy vapes. In fact, if you’re under 19, you can’t even enter a vape shop unless accompanied by an adult.
In addition, the act bans promotion visibility from outside retail premises. However, most requirements for posting health warnings signage have been removed.
Newfoundland and Labrador
In the Newfoundland and Labrador province, sales to minors under 19 years old are prohibited. This province has two major laws around vaping: the Smoke-Free Environment Act and the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act.
Under their jurisdiction, promotional materials of vapes can’t be posted outside the shop or visible from outside the shop.
The minimum age for vaping in Northwest Territories is 19 years old. In addition, vapour and tobacco products cannot be promoted or displayed in stores those under 19 can access.
On March 25, 2022, the government of the Northwest Territories banned the sale of flavoured vape products to address various health hazards. These changes were particularly intended to protect young people from flavoured vaping products.
Nova Scotia is a pioneer among vape restrictions in Canada. Under the Tobacco Access Act, the legal age to vape is 19 years old, products must be kept out of view unless only those products are sold at the store, minors aren’t allowed to enter, and more.
As of April 1, 2020, the sale of flavoured liquids and e-cigarettes is banned in Nova Scotia.
Nunavut has the highest smoking rate, with the Northwest Territories having the second highest. Their 2018-19 Tobacco Control Act annual report states that an alarming 51% of 12 to 19-year-olds in Nunavut smoke, which is six times the national rate. In addition, 62% of Nunavummiut aged 12 and higher smoke, compared to other provinces where that number is 16%.
According to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, people must be 19 or older to use vape devices.
As of July 1, 2020, changes went into effect, including rules that state flavoured vapour products cannot be sold in retail establishments unless they’re speciality vape stores or licensed cannabis retail stores. Exceptions for this include mint, menthol, and tobacco-flavoured vapour products.
Prince Edward Island
Under the Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Device Sales and Access Act, Prince Edward Island requires you to be at least 21 to use nicotine vaping products. Prince Edward Island has the oldest age requirement of all provinces in Canada. Furthermore, flavoured electronic smoking devices can’t be sold on Prince Edward Island.
Quebec bans selling vape products to anyone under 18.
As of April 2023, vaping products containing aromas or flavours other than tobacco may soon be banned under new rules in Quebec that the government proposed.
Proposals were also included to limit the maximum concentration of nicotine in vaping products to 20 milligrams per millilitre, restrict the capacity of vape tanks and capsules to 2 millilitres, and limit the maximum volume refill capacity of liquid cartridges to 30 millilitres.
Saskatchewan laws prohibit the sale of vapour products to anyone who’s under the age of 18. Under the main legislative provisions, it doesn’t allow vaping in and around enclosed public spaces such as schools, offices, and more.
There are also restrictions on advertising and promotion of these products, as well as restrictions on flavoured products.
In the Yukon Territory, the minimum age to buy and use vaping devices is now 19 years old.
Signage requirements dictate that, in addition to “no smoking” signs, “no vaping” should also be posted. Vaping and tobacco products are regulated the same way, including location of sales, consumption in public spaces, and product promotion restrictions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens if You Are Caught Vaping Under 18 in Canada?
As Canada is home to many provinces, consequences may vary between locations. However, it’s best not to find out what these consequences may be and instead stay on the right side of the law. These protections are in place to protect young people, so wait until you’re of age to consider vaping.
Understanding the legal age requirements is essential for consumers to avoid issues when buying vape products.
Provinces vary in their specific bylaws, and age requirements vary between 18 and 21 years old. Also, many provinces ban the use of vapes in indoor public places, especially when tobacco cigarettes are also banned.
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