A Specialty Vape Store is a business that primarily sells vapour products and is registered with the local Board of Health.
A retailer can register as a Specialty Vape Stores with the local Board of Health if the following criteria are met:
Applications for registration as a Specialty Vape Store are available online or at at Toronto Public Health.
Under the SFOA, 2017, registered Specialty Vape Stores are permitted to display and promote vapour products as well as allow their customers to view and handle vapour products before the point of purchase provided certain conditions are met including:
One business name sign may be posted on the exterior of the Specialty Vape Store, but it must not contain additional promotional language (e.g., “Best vape store in town”, “vape pens, e-juice sold here”).
Specialty Vape Store customers are permitted to sample and test vapour products provided they meet certain conditions including:
No person under 19 years of age is permitted into the store, except for the owner of the store, an employee, or a support person accompanying an adult with a disability. A person who appears to be less than 25 years old is considered to be less than 19 years old unless they can provide proper identification.
Specialty Vape Stores may operate within other retail stores as separate businesses provided certain conditions are met (e.g., separate entrances, points of purchase, and business licenses). To learn more, please contact Toronto Public Health.
“No Smoking”, “No Vaping”, or dual “No Smoking” and “No Vaping” signs must be posted at all store entrances, exits and washrooms, in appropriate locations and i n sufficient numbers, so that everyone knows that smoking and vaping is not permitted.
All Specialty Vape Stores must post, in clear view of the customer at the point of sale:
Specialty Vape Stores that sell tobacco products for use with electronic cigarettes (e.g., heat-not-burn) must post, in clear view of the seller and customer at the point of sale:
For information on where to get signs, please contact Toronto Public Health.
If a Specialty Vape Store delivers vapour products to their customers (e.g., through an online purchase), they are required to ensure that there is a process for verifying the age of any potential customer and that the recipient is at least 19 years of age.
Specialty Vape Stores are advised to ensure that delivery agents (e.g., couriers) are aware of this requirement and consider indicating on the package that it can only be received by a person who is at least 19 years of age.
Local Public Health Units will carry out inspections and respond to complaints regarding Specialty Vape Stores to enforce the SFOA, 2017.
There are several penalties that a retailer could face for violating the SFOA, 2017. Retailers are advised to review the Act to understand their responsibilities and the fines that may result from failing to comply.
This fact sheet is intended as a quick reference only and should not be considered to be legal advice.
Print the Specialty Vape Stores Fact Sheet.