Media Release

CCS applauds British Columbia’s leadership action against e-cigarettes


The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) congratulates the Government of British Columbia for a comprehensive, cross-ministry approach towards introducing vital e-cigarette regulations aimed at protecting youth. The BC Government’s action plan includes product regulations, youth engagement and education, and legislation for product tax. These measures set a precedent in Canada to reduce addiction risk to nicotine and youth use of e-cigarettes.

Evidence indicates that youth who use e-cigarettes with nicotine may become addicted and are at increased risk of becoming smokers. That’s why these proposed measures to decrease the attractiveness, accessibility and promotion of e-cigarettes to youth are critically important.

The new regulations will include measures to:

  • establish a maximum nicotine content of 20 mg/ml, based on the European Union standard, thus setting a leading precedent for other Canadian jurisdictions to follow;
  • restrict advertising in public places;
  • regulate product labelling and warnings; and
  • limit the sale of most flavoured e-cigarette products to age-restricted stores only

The Government of British Columbia’s regulations will take affect April 1, 2020, and their education efforts will begin immediately.

In addition to the regulations above, the Government of BC is introducing legislation this week to increase the provincial sales tax rate on vaping products from 7% to 20%. If passed, legislation will take effect January 1, 2020 making British Columbia the first province in Canada to implement a dedicated vaping tax rate. Tobacco taxes will also be increased.

“The e-cigarette industry has created a persuasive and enticing environment for youth and popularity is alarming with a 74% single-year increase in youth using e-cigarettes from 2017 to 2018”, says Khairun Jivani, Director, Cancer Control, Canadian Cancer Society. “The Government of BC is taking the right approach by introducing new regulations which will address youth access to e-cigarettes, promotion, price, as well as addictive content by setting maximum nicotine levels. We will continue to monitor e-cigarette trends and support policies to protect the health of Canadians as new evidence emerges.”

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada, killing 6,000 British Columbians annually. There are still more than 500,000 British Columbians who smoke, with some recent studies indicating a rise in BC youth smoking. An enormous amount of work needs to be done by all levels of government on a pressing basis to reduce youth smoking and vaping and to achieve the objective of under 5% of Canadians using tobacco by 2035.

About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and advocate to governments for important social change.
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For more information, please contact:
Jessica Abdilla
Communications Coordinator
Canadian Cancer Society
Phone: 416-323-7030