Feeling the Burn Series Part 2: Vaping Retail Trends

What’s New for e-Cigarettes in 2020

Vaping has taken a hard hit in Canadian retail in recent months. Across the country, federal and provincial regulations are changing how e-cigarettes can be sold, marketed, and even manufactured.

The regulations come following news of vaping-related illness and a rise in youth consumption. An online survey found that Canadian teens who reported vaping in the previous month rose from 8.4% in 2017 to 14.6% in 2018. Another reported that the rate of vaping among Alberta high school students jumped from 8% in 2014-15 to 22% in 2016-17.

With fears about vaping safety and the perception of it to Canadian youth, new regulations are altering how e-cigarettes and related products are retailed.

1. Federal Regulations

In December 2019, the federal government announced that it would ban most forms of e-cigarette advertising that young people could see, including on social media.

Under the current federal law, companies cannot promote e-cigarette flavours that could appeal to youth, such as candy, dessert, or soft drink flavours.

Vaping products can only be sent or delivered to those 18 or older. Additionally, the manufacturing, sale, and promotion of vaping products containing certain ingredients, such as vitamins and minerals, caffeine, and colouring agents, are prohibited.

See all Federal regulations: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2019/12/backgrounder-regulation-of-vaping-products-in-canada.html

2. Provincial Regulations

Beyond the federal regulations, each province has its own regulations. Many have limited the age of purchase for vaping products, and many have regulated where vaping products can be consumed and marketed.

Some notable regulations include:

  • In British Columbia, a 10-point plan includes cutting nicotine content in vapour pods, restricting flavours aimed at young people, increasing taxes, and supporting youth-led anti-vaping campaigns. These new regulations will take effect in the spring of 2020.
  • The Ontario government has banned the promotion of vaping products in convenience stores and gas stations.
  • New Brunswick banned the sale of flavoured tobacco, including menthol.
  • Nova Scotia is banning the sales of flavoured e-cigarettes and juices as of April 1, 2020.
  • PEI raised the legal age to buy vaping products from 19 to 21 – the highest age in Canada.

3. Flavour Bans

While some provinces — such as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia — have banned the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes, others are still considering it.

Ontario and British Columbia are considering restricting flavours. If Ontario’s regulations were passed, they would not apply to adult-only, specialty vape shops.

Some manufacturers are also self-restricting. Juul already announced it is temporarily halting its production of all flavours in Canada, except mint and tobacco.

Critics have questioned whether these measures will push smokers who had moved to vapes back to cigarettes.

4. What This Means for Retailers

While vaping experienced a surge in popularity, that surge also came with risk as more youth began adopting it and vaping-related illnesses cropped up. In the U.S., 2,758 people had been hospitalized for these illnesses as of February 2020 and 64 deaths had been confirmed.

For retailers selling vape products, make sure you know the regulations in your area and are following them.

For brands and manufacturers, make sure that you know what is going into your products and that they follow regulations.

Responsible marketing is also key. Focus on e-cigarettes as smoking cessation, versus as a new trend for teenagers. Again, make sure that your marketing is following both federal and provincial regulations.

How has your retailer or brand been affected by these Canadian vaping regulations? Do you think they are too little, too much, or just right? Share with us on social media. Marketsupport Canada is on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

Marketsupport helps drive your brand at retail. Get in touch today to learn about our customized in-store support to build awareness and increase sales. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.

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