Government of Canada Introduces New Tobacco and Vaping Products Legislation

News Release

Proposed legislation would create a new approach to regulating vaping products and lay the groundwork for future work on plain packaging

November 22, 2016 - Ottawa, ON - Health Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting Canadians from nicotine addiction and tobacco use. Regulating vaping products to make them less accessible to youth will help achieve this goal.

As part of this commitment, the Government introduced today important new legislation -- the proposed Tobacco and Vaping Products Act. The proposed Act amends the Tobacco Act to regulate vaping products as a separate class of products. As such, the Tobacco Act would be renamed the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act and would include provisions to protect youth from nicotine addiction and tobacco use; allow adults to access vaping products as likely less harmful alternatives to tobacco use; and protect the health and safety of Canadians through a variety of means.

The use of vaping products, such as e-cigarettes, has become increasingly popular over the past several years. Data from the recently released 2015 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey indicate that in 2015, 26% of Canadian youth aged 15-19 reported having ever tried an e-cigarette, up from 20% in 2013. The new federal regime would regulate the manufacture, sale, labelling and promotion of vaping products and would include provisions such as restricting sales to youth, restricting certain flavours, like candy, that appeal to youth, and measures such as child-resistant packaging to help protect children from nicotine poisoning.

The proposed Tobacco and Vaping Products Act would also support the Government of Canada in delivering on its commitment to implement plain packaging for tobacco products. Research has shown that plain packaging measures, including the removal of logos, textures, colours and brand images, help make tobacco products less attractive and therefore less appealing, particularly to youth. Furthermore, the proposed legislation would harmonize compliance and enforcement authorities for both tobacco and vaping products with other modern statutes administered by Health Canada. 

The proposed legislation is part of the Vision for a Healthy Canada, as well as a key element of the Government of Canada’s overall tobacco control strategy. In addition to its commitments relating to vaping and plain packaging, the Government of Canada recently took action to ban the use of menthol flavouring in cigarettes, blunt wraps, and most cigars. Furthermore, as part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to develop a new and innovative Federal Tobacco Control Strategy, Minister Philpott will host a national forum in early 2017, to discuss the future of tobacco control and hear from a wide range of stakeholders and Canadians, including First Nations and Inuit people.  

Health Canada will be working closely with stakeholders, Indigenous partners, provinces and territories as we move forward with the implementation of this proposed legislation. Together, we will continue to build on the great progress we’ve made thus far in tobacco control and help Canadians lead healthier, smoke-free lives.

Quick Facts

  • According to the 2015 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 13% of Canadians aged 15 and up (3.9 million) had ever tried an e-cigarette, an increase from the 9% (or 2.5 million) reported in 2013. 
  • One in four youth aged 15-19 has ever tried an e-cigarette.
  • Health Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research are working collaboratively to generate relevant data on vaping products and aim to bring these data together in ways that can inform policy and regulatory decisions.
  • Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of premature death and disease in Canada. Every 14 minutes, a Canadian dies from tobacco-related illness. That's 37,000 Canadians per year.
  • The vast majority of smokers begin by adolescence or young adulthood. In Canada, 82% of current adult daily smokers had smoked their first cigarette by the age of 18.
  • In 2015 alone, 115,000 Canadians began smoking cigarettes daily.


“The introduction of this important legislation is the next step in the Government’s work to protect young Canadians from nicotine addiction and tobacco use. At the same time, it introduces an approach to vaping products that considers their potential benefits to smokers. I look forward to seeing this Bill through the legislative process."

Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

Associated Links

Backgrounder – Vaping Products
Backgrounder – Plain Packaging
Backgrounder – Future of Tobacco Control
Vision for a Healthy Canada
An Overview of Canada's Federal Tobacco Control Strategy 2012-17
Share how tobacco products have affected your health

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Andrew MacKendrick
Office of Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

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Health Canada

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