Regulating tobacco and vaping products
On this page
- How the federal government regulates tobacco and vaping products
- Legislative review
- Other laws regulating tobacco and vaping products
- Importing tobacco or vaping products
How the federal government regulates tobacco and vaping products
In light of the growing presence of vaping products on the Canadian market, and in response to the 2015 report of the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Health entitled Vaping: Toward a Regulatory Framework for E-Cigarettes, the legal framework for regulating vaping products was changed in 2018 to protect young persons from nicotine addiction and tobacco use, while allowing adults access to vaping products as a less harmful alternative to smoking.
The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA) regulates the manufacture, sale, labelling and promotion of tobacco products and vaping products sold in Canada. The TVPA and its regulations are a key component in advancing the government's strategy to protect Canadians from tobacco-related death and disease. The title of the Tobacco Act was changed to the TVPA in 2018.
The purpose of the TVPA with respect to tobacco products is to provide a legal framework to respond to a national public health problem of substantial and pressing concern – tobacco use – and in particular to:
- Protect the health of Canadians in light of conclusive evidence implicating tobacco use in the incidence of numerous debilitating and fatal diseases;
- Protect young persons and others from inducements to use tobacco products and the consequent dependence on them;
- Protect the health of young persons by restricting access to tobacco products;
- Prevent the public from being deceived or misled with respect to the health hazards of using tobacco products; and
- Enhance public awareness of the health hazards of using tobacco products.
For vaping products, the purpose of the TVPA is to:
- Protect young persons and non-tobacco users from inducements to use vaping products;
- Protect the health of young persons and non-users of tobacco products from exposure to and dependence on nicotine that could result from the use of vaping products;
- Protect the health of young persons by restricting access to vaping products;
- Prevent the public from being deceived or misled with respect to the health hazards of using vaping products; and
- Enhance public awareness of the health hazards of using vaping products.
New regulations for tobacco and vaping products are regularly considered as part of Canada's comprehensive regulation making process. For more information, consult Health Canada's Forward Regulatory Plan.
The TVPA includes a requirement to undertake a legislative review of its provisions and operation three years after coming-into-force, and every two years from then on.
Other laws regulating tobacco and vaping products
Tobacco and vaping products are also subject to the following Acts and their Regulations:
Canada Consumer Product Safety Act
The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) establishes legislative and regulatory requirements to help protect the public by addressing or preventing dangers to human health or safety posed by consumer products in Canada.
The manufacturing, importation, advertisement and sale of vaping products that do not make therapeutic claims (e.g., helping to quit smoking) are subject to the CCPSA, while also subject to the TVPA.
The CCPSA does not apply to tobacco products except in respect to their and to any devices and parts used with a device, other than a water pipe, that are necessary for the use of a tobacco product.
In addition to other authorities, the CCPSA allows the federal government to carry out inspections and order recalls or other measures. The CCPSA requires industry to prepare and maintain certain documents (Section 13) and report health or safety incidents involving a consumer product (Section 14). For more information about the CCPSA, contact the Consumer and Hazardous Products Safety Directorate by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food and Drugs Act
The Food and Drugs Act (FDA) applies to vaping products that make a therapeutic claim (e.g., helping to quit smoking). This includes products that contain nicotine or any other drugs as defined by the FDA. These products must receive an authorization from Health Canada before they can be advertised, sold in Canada, or commercially imported. Before issuing a market authorization, Health Canada carefully reviews the evidence provided by the product sponsor to confirm the product meets safety, efficacy and quality requirements. A valid site licence from Health Canada is also required before a vaping product under the FDA can be labelled, imported, packaged, or manufactured.
For more information about the Food and Drugs Act and how it applies to vaping products, consult Implications of the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act for Health Products Regulated Under the Food and Drugs Act.
Non-smokers' Health Act
The Non-smokers' Health Act addresses issues related to the use of tobacco, vaping and cannabis products, including second-hand smoke and aerosol, in federally-regulated workplaces such as banks, commercial aircrafts and federal government offices. For more information about the Non-smokers' Health Act, please contact the Labour Program at Employment and Social Development Canada at 1-800-641-4049, or visit their contact page at Contact the Labour Program.
Legislation related to the use of tobacco, vaping and cannabis products in most other public places and private places, including workplaces, restaurants and multi-unit dwellings, is the responsibility of provincial, territorial and municipal governments.
The Cannabis Act creates a legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada. Vaping products containing cannabis are regulated under the Cannabis Act and its regulations.
For more information about the Cannabis Act, consult Cannabis in Canada.
Excise duties have been applied to tobacco products manufactured in Canada or imported into Canada for decades. An excise duty on vaping products was introduced in 2022. The excise duty applies to vaping substances that are manufactured in Canada or imported and that are intended for use in a vaping device in Canada.
For more information about excise duties, consult the Canada Revenue Agency.
Provincial, territorial and municipal laws
Provincial, territorial and municipal laws also regulate tobacco and vaping products and their use. For information, contact your provincial, territorial and municipal government.
Importing tobacco or vaping products
Tobacco and vaping products imported to Canada must meet the requirements of the TVPA and its associated regulations if they are to be sold in Canada. Other Acts and Regulations may be applicable. Vaping products that do not make therapeutic claims and do not contain any drugs or cannabis other than nicotine are subject to the provisions of the CCPSA and the TVPA. Personal shipments of consumer products under the CCPSA must meet the requirements of the CCPSA and its regulations.
If you have questions regarding the importation of tobacco or vaping products for sale in Canada, please contact the Tobacco Control Directorate.
Vaping products may be subject to an inspection at the border by the Canada Border Services Agency in consultation with Health Canada to verify if the products imported meet the requirements of the applicable Acts and regulations.
Specific questions regarding the importation of tobacco or vaping products for personal use should be directed to the Canada Border Services Agency.
We also recommend that you check with your delivery company to verify the restrictions in place for the transportation of these products both domestically and internationally.
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