Canada Passes Bill S-5 – What does it mean for businesses and everyday vapers?

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    Canada Passes Bill S-5 and What's Next

    Introduction of Bill S-5

    Governments across the world have had their eyes set on the vaping industry for the past few years. We have seen the USA/FDA impose strict laws upon the industry. Canada has now passed Bill S-5. An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and make consequential amendments to other Acts.

    Businesses across Canada have less than 180 days to comply with the new regulations or close their doors. Read on to discover what bill S-5 means for business as well as everyday vapers.

    Overview of Bill S-5

    The main talking point when discussing vaping regulations has been safety. Mainly of children and protecting them from future use of tobacco products. As outlined in Bill S-5.

    Vaping Products

    The purpose of this Act with respect to vaping products is to support the objectives set out in subsection (1). To prevent vaping product use from leading to the use of tobacco products by young persons and non-users of tobacco products. And, in particular.
    (a) to protect young persons and non-users of tobacco products from inducements to use vaping products.
    (b) to protect the health of young persons and non-users of tobacco products from exposure to and dependence on nicotine that could result from the use of vaping products.
    (c) to protect the health of young persons by restricting access to vaping products.
    (d) to prevent the public from being deceived or misled with respect to the health hazards of using vaping products.
    (e) to enhance public awareness of those hazards.

    Bill S-5

    If the above is confusing. The government’s main concern is to keep kids, teens and young adults “safe” from the “risks” associated with tobacco/nicotine use.
    Another major impact that business across Canada will feel is the inability to promote or advertise their brands. Previous to Bill S-5 Canadian companies were free to promote their business in any way they saw fit. Not anymore.

    Advertising Appealing to Young Persons

    No person shall promote a vaping product. A vaping product-related brand element or a thing that displays a vaping product-related brand element. By means of advertising if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the advertising could be appealing to young persons.

    Lifestyle Advertising

    No person shall promote a vaping product. A vaping product-related brand element or a thing that displays a vaping product-related brand element by means of lifestyle advertising.

    Sponsorship Promotion

    No person shall promote a vaping product-related brand element or the name of a vaping product manufacturer. In a manner that is likely to create an association between the brand element or the name and a person, entity, event, activity or permanent facility.

    Promotional Material

    No person shall use, directly or indirectly, a vaping product-related brand element. Or the name of a vaping product manufacturer in the promotional material related to a person, entity, event, activity or permanent facility.
    Individual vapers will see a change in this section of the bill. As it disallows sponsorship programs set out by e-juice companies across the country. This will stifle brand awareness across social media. It will also hurt the individual sponsees that make a living representing various brands. Companies will have a much more difficult time reaching their audience with no brand promotion.

    Overview Continued

    Since vaping exploded over the last decade. One major promoting tool for vendors has been regular sales and giveaways. Hosting giveaways has proven to be an excellent tool for gathering hype about a brand and gaining loyal followers and securing future business.

    Under the new legislation. The government of Canada no longer allows any sort of e-juice giveaways.

    Giving or Offering to Give

    Subject to the regulations, no manufacturer or retailer shall give or offer to give.
    (a) a vaping product.
    (b) a thing that displays a vaping product-related brand element.
    (i) a thing that is associated with young persons.
    (ii) there are reasonable grounds to believe that the thing could be appealing to young persons.
    (iii) the thing is associated with a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.

    Sales Promotions — Offering Consideration

    No manufacturer or retailer shall, in a place to which young persons have access.
    (a) offer to provide any consideration. For the purchase of a vaping product, including a gift to a purchaser or a third party, bonus, premium, cash rebate or right to participate in a game, draw, lottery or contest.
    (b) offer to furnish a vaping product in consideration of the purchase of a product or service or the performance of a service.

    Sales Promotions — Providing Consideration

    No manufacturer or retailer shall, in a place other than a retail establishment where vaping products are ordinarily sold.
    (a) provide any consideration, for the purchase of a vaping product, including a gift to a purchaser or a third party, bonus, premium, cash rebate or right to participate in a game, draw, lottery or contest.
    (b) furnish a vaping product in consideration of the purchase of a product or service or the performance of a service.

    Major Impacts On Consumers and Business

    The major factors that will impact the business’ the most and what that means for consumers. Overall, the end consumer will see very little change from what is already going on.

    Canada Passes Bill S-5Flavours

    While flavours were considered to be banned earlier in the beginning stages of the legislation. Now that it has passed, flavours do not see any ban at all.

    Instead, the government has enforced a strict rule. Manufacturers of e-liquid are not allowed to display any images or any words that give the consumer information about what the flavour is inside of the bottle. For example, something as simple as “Strawberry Cheesecake” can no longer be used. This goes for every flavour. Instead, companies will be forced to remove all related artwork and change names of certain e-juices to suit these regulations.

    Labelling

    Labelling is one of the major items on the list. Based on the new laws, manufacturers must use plain packaging, free of attractive colours and fonts and remove all character logos. This is to combat any attractive branding that may attract the eyes of children or teens. Proper warnings must be printed clearly on the labels. In the event of accidental ingestion, healthcare individuals may treat the person properly.

    Consumer Changes

    Consumers are also going to see a few changes while the transition takes place. You will now be permitted to import e-liquid from across the border. Buying e-juice from international sellers used to be a gamble and often times shipments would be seized and destroyed.

    As long as the manufacturer of the e-liquid follows the proper labelling laws set forth they will be able to freely ship their product across the Canadian border. This opens up a whole new market for Canadians and allows for vapers to explore further options in affordable, quality e-juice.

    DIY E-Juices

    DIY e-juice makers will see a major change. No longer will 100mg/ml nicotine base be available for sale. The government has allowed a maximum of 66mg/ml liquid nicotine base. The downside to this is that recipes will take more nicotine than before. Resulting in rapid depletion of stock. This will also cost a little more over time. DIYers can now look across the border for their nicotine requirements.

    Conclusion

    While most of the changes in Bill S-5 affect the industry side of vaping, consumers are also going to see some small changes. We think that overall this is a major win for the vaping industry in Canada. This makes vaping officially a legal and regulated industry.

    John Pietersma

    I am John Pietersma, a 30-year-old husband and father of three children who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. Having vaped and built coils for four years, I am very passionate about vaping and writing product reviews for everyone to read.