British Columbia Implements New Vaping Plan

Credit: Viviana Rishe

The Canadian province of British Columbia is bringing into force regulations to fully implement its “leading-edge” vaping action plan, which was announced in November 2019.

The regulations restrict the content, flavor, packaging, advertising and sale of vapor products in British Columbia. The province’s ministries of Health and Education will also establish a provincial youth advisory council to develop, pilot and launch youth-informed strategies to reduce vaping by young people.

“We heard from young people across the province that vaping companies are targeting them with a product that poses real and serious health and addiction risks,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “That’s why we are bringing in regulations to keep vapour products away from developing lungs and to prevent nicotine addiction. We know youth are eager to get involved in this action, and I’ve seen promising work through early youth engagement to help influence their peers and stop this dangerous trend of addiction.”

The new E-Substances Regulation, under the Public Health Act, restricts the amount of nicotine in vapor pods and e-liquids to 20mg/ml, and requires retailers to sell only those vapor products that are plainly packaged and have labels with health warnings. New retailers planning to sell vape products will need to comply with the regulation immediately. Existing vapor-product retailers will have a short transition period until Sept. 15, 2020.

The regulation immediately prohibits all retailers from selling non-nicotine or nicotine-cannabis blended vapor products.

Changes to the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Regulation ban advertising of vapour products in places where youth can access, hear or see advertisements, such as bus shelters or community parks. They also restrict the sale of flavoured vapour products, which are attractive to youth, to adult-only shops.

The provincial youth advisory council will launch in September 2020, through a partnership between the ministries of Education and Health. The council will be established next month and will also monitor and evaluate the overall impact of the plan.