BC's New Vaping Regulations

New British Columbia Vaping Regulations Announced & Effective September 2020

There are some big changes coming around for all retailers in BC with the recently announced provincial vaping regulations. On top of the previously passed vaping tax, we now have the following to prepare for as it will be enforced starting September 1, 2020.

  1. Flavored e-Juices are restricted to vape shops only.
  2. All e-Juice bottles can not exceed a 30 mL Size.
  3. No e-Juice may contain more than 20 mg of Nicotine.
  4. All vaporizer tanks must have a capacity of less than 2 mL.
  5. All e-Juice labels will have plain packaging - no pictures.
  6. Non-nicotine e-juice is considered a health hazard and is banned.
  7. No advertising of vaping products where a minor can view or hear it.
  8. If you plan on retailing vape products, a letter of intent must be filed annually. On top of that, annual sales reports from Oct 1 to Sept 30 are required for filing as well. 

The regulations are an interesting take on the vaping industry. While it is clear that the government agrees that vaping plays an important role in the transition from smoking to vaping, we don't feel that they are being fair to the industry that is focusing on the adult vaping market.

Regulations like plain packaging not only destroy the creativity in this industry, but are also way above the regulations set out by Federal government. If the products are being sold in age restricted environments, it is unnecessary to have plain packaging; following the federal requirements should be sufficient. They have been clear about removing child appealing elements, cartoons, figures, pictures of restricted flavors like candy, confectionery, etc.

Restricting flavors to vape stores only is a smart move, and it helps control the vaping market. It ensures that adults trying to quit smoking will be directed to the proper channels to get the assistance they need, and will stop big tobacco from rolling out a bunch of flavors to its supply chain.

Restricting the nicotine content to 20 mg should be a regulation similar to the flavor one; vape shops should be able to carry higher nicotine amounts, up to the amount allowed federally (66 mg). 50 mg is a very effective tool for helping smokers quit, especially when they are using a small device that doesn't vaporize a lot at one time. A person coming from 2 packs a day either needs 50 mg of nicotine, or a stronger device with the 20 mg liquid. In regards to 0 mg liquid, there is no reason that it should fall under the same legislation, as it is literally food flavors, diluted with VG. It contains no nicotine; no addictive chemical.

The 30 ml bottle cap is another restriction that I feel is unnecessary, and without enough logic. Not only is it going to push people online, but it will require retailers to dispose of a lot of stock that will become illegal very soon, as well, will require people to use more packaging. Someone that is used to buying 60 or 120 ml will now have to buy many bottles to have the same amount.

Overall I believe that the government is starting to go in the right direction, compared to the proposed regs set out in January, however, there needs to be some amendments to meet the industry in the middle ground, and to ensure that adult smokers trying to quit are able to get what they need.

We are waiting on more updates and some clarification in regards to the exact rules on the packaging, sales, and reporting, will keep you all posted as we get the news.