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E-cigarette rules take effect

September 1, 2016 4:21 P.M.

Laws on the sale, promotion and use of e-cigarettes in B.C. took effect Thursday, Sept. 1.

The Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act is designed to protect youth from the unknown effects of e-cigarette vapour and from becoming addicted to nicotine, which is why it treats e-cigarette use the same as tobacco, with the same bans and restrictions. There are no restrictions on adults buying e-cigarettes.

Legislation was introduced in 2015 in an effort to curb growing use of e-cigarettes by young people. Prevalence of e-cigarette use is highest among young people: One in five youth in Canada have tried an e-cigarette.

As amended, the act requires retailers to ensure e-cigarettes are sold only to adults aged 19 years and older, and to ensure that no retail displays are seen by youth. As well, no retail advertising for e-cigarettes should be shown where youth could see it. 

An exception on the indoor-use restriction was made so that a small number of customers in adult-only stores could learn how to use vapour products or to test products that they may wish to buy.

Under the act, e-cigarettes cannot be sold in public buildings and their use is banned on public and private school grounds, in indoor public spaces and workplaces, and in vehicles when those under 16 years are present.

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