What happens January 1st, 2016 in Ontario Electronic Cigarette Act 2015 (Bill 45)

What happens January 1st, 2016 in Ontario Electronic Cigarette Act 2015 (Bill 45)

** NOTE:  This news entry has been updated.  See the HIGHLIGHTED updates at the bottom of the article.

We have been getting a lot of questions about what is happening in Ontario with Bill 45, Schedule 3 (Electronic Cigarette Act).

=== EDIT for clarity ===

NO PROCLIMATION DATE HAS BEEN NAMED BY THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. Until that date is named by the Lieutenant Governor, these regulations are still only “proposed” and “pending”. Regulations ARE coming but at this time, we only know the “proposed” date and nothing is certain.

Within Bill 45, Schedule 3 (Electronic Cigarette Act), Commencement (Section 19) states “The Act set out in this Schedule comes into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.”

Searching the Ontario Proclamations website (here) for Electronic Cigarette Act, 2015 clearly indicates that no Date in Force has been specified.

Be ready, however.  You should be able to obtain your signage from your local public health unit.  Do not get caught short because the regulations ARE coming.  It’s just a matter of “when” are they in Force.

=== End EDIT ===

This Bill received Royal Assent on May 28th, 2015 so it is Law. However, Bill 45 is only a Framework at this point without regulations. Nothing in the bill will be enforced until regulations around each piece of the framework have been created.

Well, that time has come. We received this email which outlines what is happening with the regulations: Click Here

In brief, the new pending regulations that are supposed to go into effect on January 1st, 2016 under the Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2015 covers:

  • Prescribes the signs that retailers must display to customers;
  • Prescribes the signs that employers and proprietors must post about the ban on using e-cigarettes in certain places;
  • Further prohibits e-cigarette use in smoke-free places such as bar and restaurant patios, children’s playgrounds, publicly owned sporting areas, 9 metres from the entrances and exits of certain health care facilities, and the outdoor grounds of public hospitals, private hospitals, psychiatric facilities and certain office buildings owned by the Government of Ontario;
  • Prescribes the procedure which must be followed when a home health-care worker exercises his/her right under the Act to leave a home without providing any further services because a person has refused to stop using an e-cigarette in the presence of the worker at the request of the worker;
  • Prescribes the procedure that applies when an employee complains that his or her employer has committed an act of reprisal in violation of the Act; Specify that the ban on selling or supplying an e-cigarette to a minor does not apply if the minor is a medical marihuana user who intends to use the e-cigarette for medical purposes;
  • Specifies that the ban on using an e-cigarette in smoke-free places does not apply to a medical marihuana user who uses an e-cigarette for medical purposes; and
  • Specifies that the ban on using an e-cigarette in an enclosed workplace and enclosed public place does not apply to an actor who uses an e-cigarette in a stage production

The pending regulation details are posted here: http://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/150337

In plain English, for businesses this means:

  • You will need some signs at the workplace and/or retail shops
  • No sales to anyone under 19 (Only certain ID types are acceptable)
    • A driver’s licence issued by the Province of Ontario with a photograph of the person to whom the licence is issued.
    • A Canadian passport.
    • A Canadian citizenship card with a photograph of the person to whom the card is issued.
    • A Canadian Armed Forces identification card.
    • A photo card issued by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.
  • No using the device (Vaping) in workplaces or retail shops
  • No diagnostics in workplaces or retails shops if it requires turning on the assembled device (that’s using the device)

At the end of the day, if you are not allowed to smoke tobacco cigarettes, you are not allowed to use your device.

So, despite all efforts to make any positive changes for use of Electronic Cigarettes, the office of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has chosen to take a hard line for strict regulation, for now.

The regulations that cover Promotion and Display have NOT been drafted yet, which means they would not be in effect. They are supposed to be released for comment sometime in 2016 to be effective in 2017.  This means you can still show and talk about the products with customers.

** UPDATE: December 16, 2015

CBC just posted an article where the Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Hon Dipika Damerla is quoted as follows:

Damerla said her government would proceed with a ban on selling e-cigarettes to minors beginning January 1, “but we will not be proceeding with the piece around where you can and cannot use electronic cigarettes.”

This is not a win for the industry, “yet” because the article goes further to say:

Damerla said the government committed to reviewing regulations around where medical marijuana can and cannot be vaped and “in that context we’ve just made the decision to bring all of the regulations around where you can and cannot vape at once.”

So this will only be temporary in that we still may not get an exemption for using the devices within Vape Shops.

Stay tuned…

** UPDATE:  December 18th, 2015

A statement was released today by the Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on New Laws for Electronic Cigarettes and Tobacco.  Although we have not seen an actual change in the posted, pending regulations, Hon. Dipika Damerla stated the following:

“Effective January 1st, 2016, the sale and supply of e-cigarettes to those under the age of 19 will be banned.”

“Early in the new year, we will move to restrict where e-cigarettes can be used. As always, we welcome continued input from all stakeholders as we work together to help protect Ontario’s youth from the dangers of tobacco and the potential harms of e-cigarettes.”

This means, the only restriction that is being applied to Electronic Cigarettes at this time is the “No sales to anyone under the age of 19” which we’ve been in favour of and requested from the beginning.

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