Tobacco and Vapour Products Enforcement Program
The Northern Health regional Tobacco and Vapour Products Enforcement Program ensures tobacco and vapour product retailer compliance with respect to the Provincial Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act and Regulation (TVPCA and TVPCR).
- BC’s Tobacco Control Strategy - Government of BC
- Requirements under the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act and Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Regulation (PDF) - Government of BC
Note: The Tobacco and Vapour Enforcement Program is not responsible for enforcing compliance with Northern Health’s Smoke Free Premises Policy. Responsibility for ensuring compliance with Northern Health’s Smoke Free Premises Policy rests with the site manager for each location across the region.
If you are seeking information to make the decision to stop using tobacco products see Northern Health’s Smoking and tobacco reduction page. Additionally, if you’d like to learn about traditional uses of tobacco visit the Respecting tobacco page on the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) website.
Northern Health Tobacco Enforcement Officers carry out routine and complaint inspections to monitor compliance with the Provincial Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act and Regulation (TVPCA and TVPCR) including:
- Inspections involving minor test shoppers – staff under the age of 19 who try to purchase tobacco and vapour products from retailers
- Routine and complaint inspections to monitor compliance with retailer signage, display and promotion
Non-compliance is managed via progressive compliance, beginning with education and progressing in severity to include fines and/or suspension of the retailer’s licence to sell tobacco products if non-compliance continues.
See the Government of BC's Tobacco Control Program page for more information.
Contact the Tobacco and Vapour Products Enforcement Program:
- If you are a retailer in need of more signs or decals for your business
- Have concerns regarding a retailer selling tobacco to minors under the age of 19
- Have questions regarding compliance:
- BC Ministry of Health
- BC Laws documents
Please contact us on our Health Protection Central Line at 1-250-565-7322.
E-substances Regulation - Notice of Intent to sell E-substances and reporting requirements
A new E-Substances Regulation (‘the ESR’) has been introduced as part of a multi-pronged effort to address the increase in youth vaping. The ESR has introduced new requirements related to the sale, of vapour products under the Public Health Act. New requirements include:
- Prescribing health hazards and regulated activities under the Public Health Act
- Restrictions on the sale and distribution of vapour products
- Packaging and labelling requirements for vapour products
- Reporting requirements for retailers of vapour products, including the requirement to submit a Notice of Intent to sell E-substances to the Ministry of Health
Notice of Intent to sell E-substances
Business owners must notify the Ministry of Health of their intent to sell restricted e-substances by submitting a Notice of Intent to sell E-substances form to the Ministry of Health.
The Notice of Intent is required for each separate sales premise for your business and for the sale of non-therapeutic nicotine e-substances. Business owners will be required to submit the following information:
- Legal name of business
- Name under which business is conducted
- Address of sales premises from which restricted E-substances are sold
- Phone number for sales premises
- Email address for sales premises
- Webpage for sales premises (if applicable)
- If persons under 19 years of age are permitted on the sales premises
- Health authority in which the sales premises is located
IMPORTANT DATES TO BE AWARE OF: If an existing retailer wishes to sell restricted e-substances after September 15, 2020, the business owner must submit the Notice of Intent and product report (and manufacturing report, if applicable) a minimum of 6 weeks before September 15, 2020. The Notice of Intent must also be submitted prior to January 15 of each year that a retailer intends to continue sales.
By completing the form, you will be submitting your Notice of Intent to sell E-substances to the Ministry of Health, notifying the Ministry of your intent to sell restricted e-substances in British Columbia:
- Business owners that fail to submit their Notice of Intent and that fail to comply with the new reporting requirements may be subject to offences under the Public Health Act.
As a business owner who sells or intends to sell e-substances in British Columbia, you are required to provide product information reports for each restricted e-substance you intend to sell. Product reports must be submitted at least 6 weeks prior to selling a restricted e-substance at retail.
A product report must include the following information for each restricted e-substance that will be sold from the sales premises:
- The name and contact information of the manufacturer
- The brand name and product name
- The type of product
- The concentration of nicotine (in mg/mL)
- The capacity (in mLs), of either the refillable container, or the tank/cartridge to hold the E-substance
- A list of all the ingredients in an e-substance (both the common and scientific names unless one of these names is not available from the manufacturer)
Product information must be submitted by email to email@example.com and must include the legal business name in the subject of the email.
If any of the above information changes for a restricted e-substance product, the business owner must report this change to the Ministry within 7 days of selling the changed product.
As a business owner, if a retailer formulates, packages, re-packages, or prepares restricted e-substances for sale at your sales premises, you are required to provide information about those e-substances. Manufacturing reports must be submitted at least 6 weeks prior to selling the restricted e-substance at the retail location.
A manufacturing report must include the following information for each restricted e-substance that will be sold from the sales premises.
- Name and contact information of the manufacturer of each ingredient
- Both the common and scientific names of each ingredient, unless one of these names is not available from the manufacturer
Prior to January 15 of each year, business owners must report the vapour product sales that have occurred during a specified reporting period.
For each type of vapour product sold, a business owner must report on:
- The number of containers and cartridges sold, grouped by brand name and product name
- The volume (in mLs) of each restricted e-substance in the product
- The flavour, if the restricted e-substance in the product is flavoured
The sales information must be collected during the reporting period of October 1 in one year to September 30 of the following year. The sales volume data collected during this reporting period must be reported by the business owner before January 15, of every year (i.e. all business owners must report the previous year’s sales figures by this date).
- For example, business owners must submit their first sales report by January 15, 2022 for the sales period of October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.
For technical support in submitting your Notice of Intent or product and manufacturing reports, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 1-844-915-5005 (8 am to 4:30 pm Mon-Fri).
Further information on the E-substances regulation and information for retailers is available at the Ministry of Health website.
The full text of the E-substances regulation will be available at the BC Laws website in Restrictions under the E-substances regulation.
Restrictions under the E-Substances Regulation
The BC Government introduced new requirements related to the sale, of vapour products under the newly enacted E-Substances Regulation under the Public Health Act. Existing vapour product retailers will have a short transition period until September 15, 2020.
- BC's E-Substances Regulation: Retailers' Guide (PDF) - BC Ministry of Health
It is the responsibility of the store owner to ensure that they and their staff know and comply with the BC tobacco laws.
Applying to sell tobacco products
Before you can sell tobacco products in BC, you need to register as a Retail Dealer. You must have a separate Tobacco Retail Authorization (TRA) permit (PDF) for each retail location where you sell taxable tobacco in BC, including vending machines.
Once you have a valid Tobacco Retail Authorization (TRA) permit (PDF) or Exempt Sale Retail Dealer (ESRD) permit (PDF), you need to complete these forms and submit them to the Ministry of Finance. These forms are sent directly to the Ministry of Finance and are not managed by Northern Health.
Northern Health requires a facility information form completed for new tobacco/vapour retailers and when there is a change of ownership to an existing store.