Tobacco and E-cigarette Vendor Information

Smoke-Free Ontario Act

Tobacco control officers enforce the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017. This law protects the health of Ontarians from second-hand tobacco smoke, cannabis smoke and vapour from e-cigarettes. It prohibits smoking in various locations including all enclosed worksites and public spaces.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act helps to reduce youth access to tobacco and vapour products (e-cigarettes).

Smoke-free Ontario Act summary:

  • Prohibits selling or sharing any form of tobacco or vapour products to those under 19
  • Ensures tobacco and vapour products are hidden from the public in all stores
  • Allows vapour products to be promoted in non-specialty vape stores
  • Requires prescribed signs in locations affected by the law
  • Restricts the sale of flavoured tobacco, including cigarillos

Information for Vendors

Retail establishments selling tobacco or vapour products are strongly encouraged to read and understand the Smoke-Free Ontario Act: Guide for Vendors 2020. This guide can be used to help ensure your business is meeting the requirements to sell tobacco and vape products.

Education and compliance

Tobacco control officers from Niagara Region inspect establishments that sell tobacco and vapour products to ensure compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, for display and promotion of products. Additional inspections are conducted to test a vendor's willingness to sell tobacco and vapour products to those under 19.

The officers may seize illegal tobacco products, issue warning notices and fines for non-compliance. When required, progressive enforcement is used to obtain compliance.

Tobacco and vapour product prescribed signs

All vendors who sell tobacco or vapour products must have the prescribed signs on display that highlight the required age and dangers of smoking. For sign requirements and the types of signs available, visit the rules for selling tobacco and vapour products.

To order signs, please contact Public Health.

Specialty Vape Store

A specialty vape store primarily sells vapour products and are:

  • Registered with their local Public Health unit
  • At least 85 per cent of its sales are from vapour products
  • Remaining sales are from other items associated with vapour products, or branded with the same name of the specialty vape store or vape products. An example would be a branded carrying case

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act allows vape stores to display products and allow for limited sampling inside of a specialty vape stores. No person under 19 years old is permitted to enter a specialty vape store. Visit the rules for selling tobacco and vapour products for further details on rules and restrictions.

Registration

Specialty vape stores are now required to register with their Public Health unit. To register with Niagara Region as a speciality vape store, you must:

Tobacconist Stores

Tobacconist retailers sell speciality tobacco products other than just cigarettes. This can include products such as cigars, pipe tobacco and products used to consume tobacco like pipes, lighters and heat-not-burn devices. Tobacconist stores are:

  • Registered with its local Public Health unit
  • At least 85 per cent of its sales are from vapour products
  • Remaining sales are from cigarettes or other items associated with tobacco products, or branded with the name of the tobacconist or a brand of tobacco. An example would be a branded tin boxes

Registered tobacconists are allowed to display tobacco products within their store, however are required to limit access to anyone under the age of 19 years old. Visit the rules for selling tobacco and vapour products for further details on rules and restrictions.

Registration

Tobacconist stores are now required to register with their Public Health unit. To register with Niagara Region as a tobacconist, you must:

If you have any questions, concerns or complaints, contact the Tobacco Hotline at 905-688-8248 ext. 7393 or 1-888-505-6074 ext. 7393. or submit inquiries online.

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