Quebec hits vaping industry with stricter product regulations

2 August 2023

By CBC

Regulations will be enforced as of Oct. 31

The sale of vaping products with a flavour or aroma other than tobacco will be prohibited in Quebec, the health minister announced today.

Starting Oct. 31, the government will also be limiting the maximum nicotine concentration of all vaping products sold in the province to 20 mg/ml.

In April, Health Minister Christian Dubé first sought to amend regulations linked to the application of the Tobacco Control Act with the hope of making vaping less appealing to minors.

Dubé emphasized that point Wednesday, saying the latest regulations are designed to protect young people from the “harmful and worrisome effects of vaping.”

“It is by improving the health of Quebecers that we will contribute to taking preventive action and reducing the pressure on our health network,” he said in a statement. “It’s our responsibility, and we will ensure that these substances become less attractive to everyone.”

Part of that strategy means limiting the capacity of tanks and pods to two millilitres and the maximum volume of vape liquid refill containers to 30 millilitres.

Quebec will also require certain information to be displayed on vaping products and their packaging and it will also regulate some aspects of vaping products that make them more appealing to young clients.

Vaping companies request 6-month extension

Vita Canada — the association of vaping industry representatives in Canada — is asking for an additional six months before the law is enforced.

It says the extension would help “prevent vaping shops from suffering significant financial losses and having to throw away a large quantity of products with consequences on the environment,” a news release from the association said.

Daniel Marien, founding director of Vita Canada, cautioned that young Quebecers may try to thwart the system by obtaining flavoured vapes illegally on the black market or online using prepaid cards

“We are outraged, bitter and deeply disappointed by the government’s stubbornness to ban flavours in vaping,” he said in a statement. “The government is making a monumental mistake by relying on wishful thinking to protect our young people from vaping.”

Eric Gagnon, vice-president of legal and external affairs of Imperial Tobacco Canada, says introducing severe penalties for anyone supplying vaping products to minors would be a more effective approach to protecting young people from vaping than restricting products with flavours. 

“We agree that too many young people are vaping and that they shouldn’t be. However, the extreme restrictions on flavours in vaping products that are being adopted today will not solve this problem,” he said.