Selling Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Devices (Vaping Products)
A retail vendor’s licence is required to sell tobacco products in PEI. A licence is not required to sell only electronic smoking devices and/or accessories. If you sell tobacco products or electronic smoking devices and accessories in PEI your retail outlet will be inspected regularly for compliance with the Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Device Sales and Access Act and Regulations.
What are the recent changes to the Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Device Sales and Access Act and Regulations?
The four main changes to the Act and Regulations are:
- The legal age to purchase tobacco or an electronic smoking device in Prince Edward Island is 21 years of age. The age was raised to 21 from age 19 on March 1, 2020.
- No flavoured tobacco or electronic smoking devices are permitted to be sold in PEI. The only flavours of tobacco or electronic smoking devices that can be sold are tobacco or unflavoured. An agent added to tobacco or an electronic smoking device to produce an aroma or taste other than the aroma or taste of tobacco, including the aroma or taste of candy, chocolate, fruit, a spice, an herb, an alcoholic beverage, vanilla or menthol, is a prescribed flavouring agent prohibited for sale in Prince Edward Island.
- Electronic smoking devices can only be sold in tobacconist shops. This includes the device and any associated products, including e-liquids. A tobacconist shop is an age-restricted location whose primary business is the retail sale of tobacco and/or electronic smoking devices. Primary business means at least 50% of the retailer's product display space is devoted to the sale of tobacco, Electronic smoking devices, or a combination of both.
- Signage found in retail locations has been updated to reflect the new minimum age to purchase tobacco and electronic smoking devices. Tobacco signage is provided to all retailers during routine inspections.
Information for Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Device Retailers
The Province of PEI provides a tobacco education program to all tobacco retailers and tobacconist shops called the Toolkit for Responsible Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Device Retailers. It is highly recommended that all retailers and their employees complete a tobacco training program and review the materials on an annual basis.
Tobacco Vendor License Application for New Businesses
Retailer Tobacco Toolkit and Quizzes, and Monitoring Forms
Download the new ID to Age 30 posters
Request Tobacco Training Materials or Retail Tobacco Signage
Tobacco Enforcement Officers are responsible for the enforcement of the Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Device Sales and Access Act in PEI. Inspections are conducted by Officers on all retailers that sell tobacco and electronic smoking devices to make sure they are compliant with the legislation. Officers provide education and training materials and signage to businesses to help them meet legislative requirements. A collaborative partnership exists with other enforcement agencies to coordinate enforcement activities and address public complaints around tobacco and vaping issues. Compliance checks are conducted throughout the year to ensure retailers are checking the ID of customers under the age of 21.
Any retailer or person found to be in violation of the Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Device Sales and Access Act or the Regulations is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction:
· For a first offence, to a fine not exceeding $2000; including:
- Sale or supply to person under 21
- Purchase of a tobacco or electronic smoking device product for a person under 21
- Sale of tobacco/electronic smoking device with flavouring agent
- Sale of electronic smoking device outside of a tobacconist shop
- Advertising or promotion of tobacco or electronic smoking device
- False, deceptive or misleading advertising of tobacco/electronic smoking devices
A second and subsequent offence, will lead to a fine not exceeding $5000.
A retailer’s license may also be suspended or cancelled pursuant to Section 8 of the Tobacco Tax Act if found guilty of an offence related to tobacco in any Act or Regulations of the Legislative Assembly of PEI.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a licence to sell tobacco products in PEI?
What if I fail to comply with the Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Device Sales and Access Act and Regulations?
- First offence, to a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $2,000;
- Second offence or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $5,000.
A tobacco licence may be suspended or cancelled under the Tobacco Tax Act.
Please note: The provincial health department conducts compliance checks on a regular basis using an underage test shopper to ensure retailers are not selling to customers under the age of 21 and are asking customers under the age of 30 for proof of age to purchase tobacco and/or electronic smoking devices.
If I am a Tobacconist, can I sell both tobacco and electronic smoking devices or do I have to choose?
Yes, you can sell both tobacco and electronic smoking devices if you meet the operational requirements of a tobacconist shop. You must be licensed by the Department of Finance in order to sell tobacco products.
Does an employee have to be 21 years of age to sell tobacco or electronic smoking devices?
Only employees in tobacconist shops must be 21 years of age or older because entry into a tobacconist shop is restricted to people who are 21 years of age or older. Employees in any other retail location do not have to be 21 years of age to sell tobacco products.
Given the recent changes in age to purchase tobacco and electronic smoking devices, how should I be directing my employees to verify a customer’s age?
As of March 1, 2022, you will need to verify that ALL customers are at least 21 years of age before selling tobacco or an electronic smoking device. Any customer who appears under the age of 30 should be asked to provide ID to show proof of age that they are over the legal age of 21.
Is there a training program available to help tobacco and electronic smoking device retailers and employees understand the rules around selling these products?
Yes, our Toolkit for Responsible Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Device Retailers was recently updated and covers the changes to the Act and Regulations. You can use the toolkit to train and quiz your staff to ensure they fully understand the rules and sell these products responsibly.
Who will enforce the legislation?
The legislation will continue to be enforced by Tobacco Enforcement Officers employed by the Department of Health and Wellness.
How will non-compliance be handled?
Routine inspections will be carried out to ensure compliance with the legislation. Officers will also be available to provide assistance by answering any questions operators or employees may have. If you wish to report a violation of the Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Device Sales and Access Act, please contact a Tobacco Enforcement Officer.