Guide to Laws for the Sale and Use of Electronic Cigarettes

Effective October 1, 2017, The Non-Smokers Protection Amendment Act (e-cigarettes) (NSHPA) will come into force.

The legislation will amend The Non-Smokers Health Protection Act (NSHPA) to restrict youth access to vapour (“vape”) products. It will also place restrictions on the display, advertising and use of vapour products similar to the restrictions currently in place in relation to tobacco products. The regulations made under the NSHPA, the Non-Smokers Health Protection Regulation and the Documentation for Verifying Age Regulation have also been amended to enable implementation of the amendments to the act.

Upon coming into force, the amendments to the NSHPA will also change the name of the NSHPA to The Non-Smokers Health Protection and Vapour Products Act.

Highlights of the Amendments to the Act and Regulations

The amendments will add the following definitions to the NSHPA:

“e-cigarette” means either of the following:

  • a product or device, whether or not it resembles a cigarette, containing a power source and heating element designed to vapourize an e-substance for inhalation or release into the air,
  • a product or device prescribed by regulation similar in nature or use to a product or device described in clause (a)

"e-substance" means a solid, liquid or gas

  • that, on being heated, produces a vapour for use in an e-cigarette, regardless of whether the solid, liquid or gas contains nicotine, and
  • that is not a controlled substance within the meaning of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada)

"vapour product" means any of the following:

  • an e-cigarette,
  • an e-substance,
  • a cartridge for or a component of an e-cigarette;

"vapour product shop" means (subject to any additional criteria specified in the regulations) premises where the predominant trade or business carried on is the sale or distribution of vapour products, and where the sale or distribution of other products is merely incidental.

As per the Non-Smokers Health Protection Regulation, a business must meet the following additional criteria to be considered a “vapour product shop” under the NSHPA:

  • At least 85 per cent of the floor space of the premises is devoted to the sale of vapour products
  • No food, beverages or other items or products, other than vapour products, are sold or otherwise supplied at the premises, other than the following:
    • Clothing and other promotional items that display only the business name and logo of the vapour product shop selling or supplying the item
    • Cases, batteries, battery chargers, mouthpieces, wire, coils, toolkits or other items or products intended for use only in relation to vapour products
    • Non-alcoholic beverages

The amendments to the NSHPA will also:

  • prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes and vapour products to minors
  • prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public spaces and other places where smoking is prohibited with exceptions similar to those currently allowed for smoking
  • place restrictions on the display and advertising of e-cigarettes and vapour products, similar to the restrictions in place for tobacco products

The following outlines the requirements for businesses to be compliant with the new restrictions on vapour products:

Prohibition on the sale of vapour products to minors
  • Retailers are permitted to use the same identification for proof of age that is currently used for the sale of tobacco, which is as follows:
    • a valid and subsisting driver's license
    • a passport
    • a certificate of Canadian citizenship that contains the person's photograph
    • a Canadian permanent resident document
    • a Canadian Armed Forces identification card
    • any other documentation that
      • is issued by or under the authority of the government of, or any agency of the government of, any country, province, state, district or territory, and
      • contains the person's name, signature, photograph and date of birth
  • The Act prohibits the display of a vapour product such that it is visible to children in any place or premises in which vapour products are sold. It also prohibits the advertising and promotion of vapour products in any place or premises in which these products are sold but does provide for an exception to this restriction for vapour product shops, which meet requirements specified in the regulations.

For vapour product shops to qualify for the display, advertising and promotion exemption, they must meet the following requirements:

  • No minors are to be permitted in the premises
  • Any display, advertising or promotion of vapour products must not be visible from outside the shop
In retail shops that do not qualify for the above-noted vapour product shop exception, in-store signage listing vapour products offered for sale, and their prices are permitted if the following requirements are met:
  • a maximum of one sign per till
  • a maximum of three signs in the place or premises
  • the text of the sign must not be visible from outside the place or premises
  • the maximum size of the sign in 968 cm2 (150in2)
  • the sign must be white, except for its text, which must be black
  • the maximum height of a letter in the sign’s text is 18mm
  • the text size and style must be consistent in all part of the sign, and the text must not contain italics, bold type or underlining
  • the text of the sign must not identify or reflect a brand of a vapour product, or of any element of such a brand.

A model form of the sign is portrayed in Schedule D of the regulations

Prohibition on the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public spaces, indoor workplaces and other places where smoking is prohibited.

The act prohibits the use of an e-cigarette in:

  • an enclosed public place
  • an indoor workplace
  • a group living facility
  • a public vehicle
  • a vehicle used in the course of employment, while carrying two or more employees

Exemptions to this provision include:

  • group living facilities
    • An in-patient or resident of a group living facility, other than a facility operated exclusively for children, may smoke or use an e-cigarette in a separate room in the facility, but only if the separate room
      1. is designated as a smoking room, an e-cigarette use room or a combined smoking and e-cigarette use room by the proprietor or board of the facility
      2. is not frequented by non-smoking or non-e-cigarette using in-patients or residents
      3. is fully enclosed by floor-to-ceiling walls, a ceiling and doors that separate it physically from any adjacent area in which smoking or e-cigarette use is prohibited by this act
      4. has a separate ventilation system if the designated room is either a smoking room or a combined smoking and e-cigarette use room.
  • hotel rooms
    • A registered guest, and his or her invited guests, may smoke or use an e-cigarette in a guest room of a hotel, motel, inn or bed-and-breakfast facility, but only if the guest room
      1. is designed primarily as sleeping accommodation
      2. is designated as a smoking, an e-cigarette use room or a combined smoking and e-cigarette use room by the proprietor
      3. is fully enclosed by floor-to-ceiling walls, a ceiling and doors that separate it physically from any adjacent area in which smoking or e-cigarette use is prohibited by this act
      4. has a separate ventilation system if the designated room is either a smoking room or a combined smoking and e-cigarette use room.

Businesses meeting the definition of a “vapour product shop” as defined above may permit customers to test and sample products in-store for the purpose of a sale and use elsewhere.

Owners and employees are not permitted to use e-cigarettes inside vapour product shops.

Enforcement

Enforcement of this law will be conducted within the current Non-Smokers Health Protection Act and The Public Health Act enforcement programs. Tobacco control and cessation branch enforcement officers will regularly visit vapour product shops and other e-cigarette and vapour product retailers across Manitoba following the enactment of the regulations.

Public health inspectors will respond to complaints related to use in enclosed public places as necessary.

If you are looking for further information on smoking and tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and vapour products or the laws related to these products, please visit our Smoking Control and Cessation website.