First and foremost, Happy New Year to everyone! May the New Year bring good (or at least better) regulation to our industry!
The short of the long is, as of January 1, 2016:
- It is illegal to sell or supply electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and component parts (e.g. battery, atomizer) to anyone under 19 years of age
- Retail locations must have two (2) different signs: Age restriction sign, Identification sign
There is a concise outline of the new rules here:
For most of us, this is no real change except for the sign specifics and the “legal requirement” to check photo id. A majority already had signs and/or self-enforced the age requirement.
If you have not already done-so, TRAIN YOUR STAFF on proper procedure for Checking Identification:
- Ask for I.D. from everyone who looks under 25
- Familiarize yourself with the acceptable I.D.
- Follow the three easy steps for checking I.D.
- Recognize fake I.D.
- If in doubt – do not sell
Signage should be obtained from your local Public Health Unit. We have been told that most of them do not yet have the new signage but that it should be received within the next few weeks. They said that once they are received, inspectors will be delivering the signage to locations known to sell electronic cigarettes. It is your responsibility to obtain the required signage which means that you MUST contact them so that they know to come to your location. The inspector will be able to assist with placement of the signs, review the regulations and go over any questions you may have.
NO OTHER NEW LAWS ARE IN EFFECT
This means that you can (for the time being) continue to use the devices indoors, obviously at the discretion of the location. You can continue to openly talk about and sell your products in plain view. It is “business as usual” in all other aspects.
That is NOT to say that this is any sort of “win”. It is NOT a win at all. It is simply a delay on the additional regulations that have been proposed. They ARE coming and they are not at all favourable in their current form and they will be implemented very soon (within the coming months). That means we still need to continue to strive for and convince our regulators that these regulations are not appropriate for these products.
There is at least one petition that we are aware of that is being circulated within the retail shops that we would encourage people to use. It can be downloaded from here, a Facebook Group (Vapor Advocates of Ontario) or contact Stinky Canuck. Their petition contains instructions, appears to follow the requirements for petitions and should be suitable for submission to parliament. GET THOSE SIGNATURES!
Additional reference for what is in force and where the information is located:
The “Date in Force” for one of the two entries for the Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2015 has been updated on the Ontario Proclamations page with the anticipated date of January 1st, 2016 This means there are new laws in effect for Electronic Cigarettes in Ontario. This proclamation activates the following sections of Bill 45, Schedule 3 (Consolidated Version of Schedule 3):
- 1 : Definitions – Legal definitions of “things” related to the act
- 2 : Selling or supplying to persons under 19 – You can’t
- 6 : Signs in retail stores – These must be specific and in specific locations
- 9 : Vending machines: general prohibition – You can’t
- 10 (4), (5) : Prohibition – As it relates to actions an employer can (or cannot, as it were) take against an employee for complying with the act
- 13 : Inspectors – What they can do and how it will be done
- 14 : Offences – The fines that will be imposed for different violations
- 15 (1) (a)-(f), (h), 15 (2) : Regulations – General “stuffs” related to regulations
- 16 : Crown bound – Binds the Crown to the act
The Regulations that apply to the act have also been updated and Sections Activated based on the proclamation above:
- 1 : Signs – Just says they must be conspicuous and not obstructed from view
- 2 : Identification of persons to be at least 19 – Defines what is suitable for identification purposes
- 3 : Signs at retail – Describes requirements for the signs to be used
- 10 : Procedure for employees – Defines the procedures that employees for complaints
If you have any questions about these new laws, please let us know.