On July 20th 2020, the BC Ministry of Health released its updated vaping regulations for the Province, giving all retailers and manufacturers until September 15th at midnight to prepare for most new changes to come into force.
Highlights of the changes are as follows
Nicotine content Cap at 20mg/ml maximum
0mg products banned (effective immediately!)
All “e-substances” (E-liquids) must contain nicotine
No straight PG or VG sales
Max bottle container size allowed for sale is only 30ml
- No more 60ml/100ml/120ml/200ml/etc
Tank size limited to 2mL Max capacity
- No more tanks/pods that hold more than 2ml will be allowed to be purchased or sold
- Any empty bottles or pods/cartridges included with package must be 2ml and under as well, including Squonk devices
- This means there will likely be no more Squonking devices seen for some time
Sale of Flavored Liquids/E-Substances restricted to 19+ establishments only
- Flavors are banned from all non 19+ establishments (Gas stations and any place minors are allowed, will only have Tobacco flavors, NO fruit or other flavors allowed for sale)
Plain packaging requirements
- No images, no additional txt
- More info is still forthcoming regarding this requirement
No advertising anywhere it can be seen/heard or accessed by minors
Retailers must wait 6 weeks before selling anything new due to new reporting procedures
The technical aspects of it:
The changes to the regulations are as follows:
- enacting the new E-Substances Regulation under the Public Health Act to regulate the sale of e-substances;
- amending the Health Hazards Regulation under the Public Health Act to prescribe nicotine and nicotine salts as health hazards; and
- Amending the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Regulation under the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act to strengthen vapour product advertising rules.
Highlights of the regulatory amendments include the following:
Prescribing New Health Hazards
The Health Hazards Regulation has been amended to prescribe:
- nicotine and nicotine salts, “non-therapeutic nicotine”; this new hazard excludes nicotine or nicotine salts that are Schedule I drugs under the Drug Schedules Regulation (i.e., excludes therapeutic nicotine and specific products containing nicotine).
For the purposes of the new E-Substances Regulation, the following are also prescribed as health hazards, in order to regulate the sales of these products:
- e-substances that contain non-therapeutic (i.e., recreational) nicotine; and,
- e-substances that do not contain nicotine, nicotine salts or cannabis.
Regulating the sales and restricting the type of e-substances that can be sold
- The E-substances creates specific definitions for “retailer”, “purchaser” and “manufacturer” in order to regulate the activity of selling e-substances.
- The E-Substances Regulation is to ban specific e-substances from sales;
- The E-Substances Regulation regulates the sales activity, with retailers having to ensure that their products meet specific standards; otherwise the retailers may not sell these products.
Limiting E-Substance Volume and Nicotine Content
The E-Substances Regulation restricts the nicotine content in e-substances that may be sold requiring that:
- the maximum nicotine concentration be no more than 20 mg/mL;
- the cartridges holding e-substances have a maximum capacity of no more than 2 mLs; and,
- the refill containers holding the e-substances have a maximum capacity of no more than 30 mLs.
Restricting the Sale of Flavoured E-Substances
- The E-substance regulation introduces a new definition, “flavoured” which describes a product on the basis of whether it tastes or smells of anything other than tobacco.
- Stores accessible to minors (under 19 years of age), such as convenience stores, may only sell tobacco-flavoured e-substances.
- Adult-only stores are permitted to sell a wider range of flavoured e-substances except those prohibited by federal legislation.
- Prohibited flavours include the categories of desserts, cannabis flavour, confectionary, soft drinks, and energy drinks.
Mandatory Notice and Reporting
The following requirements are specified within the E-Substances Regulation including deadlines or reporting periods.
- Business owners who sell restricted e-substances will be required to provide the Ministry with:
- Initial Notice of Intent six weeks before commencing sales followed by annual renewals of Notice of Intent to sell (i.e. before January 15 of each year).
- Product information (i.e. ingredients list), manufacturing reports (where applicable), annual sales reports (for a specified reporting period beginning October 1 and ending September 30 of each year).
- Notification and reporting requirements are linked with product sale restrictions.
Restrictions on Public Advertising
The following amendments have been made to the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Regulation:
Extension of existing prohibition of vapour product advertisements to any place where advertisements may beseen, accessed, or heard by youth.
- This includes public spaces such as malls, bus shelters, outside store fronts, billboards.
Provincial Labelling and Packaging Requirements
The E-Substances Regulation ensures that retailers can only sell restricted e- substances if the e-substances display:
- The total volume of the e-substance in the vapour product.
- A warning that nicotine is highly addictive.
- The hazard warning symbol.
- No images or additional text: e-substances must be packaged in a plain manner.
- In addition, one or more of the following is required:
- the name and contact information of the manufacturer,
- the brand name and product name; and
- the type of product.
Provincial Regulations Complement New Federal Labelling and Packaging Regulations
- Retailers are required to comply with the federal government’s Vaping Products Labelling and Packaging Regulation for vapour product labelling and packaging requirements; these came into force on July 1, 2020
- The Provincial E-Substances Regulation has been designed to work in tandem with the federal regulations.
- Retailers will only be able to sell restricted e-substances that are labeled and packaged following BC and federal legislation.
Relationship to the Tobacco and Vapour Products Regulation
Lots of changes ahead, bear with us as we adapt to comply with these new regulations and find new solutions to challenges we now face.