New proposed vaping regulations by the Ontario government will cause major issues selling e-cigarettes in Ontario.
Dec 28, 2015
Unless changes are made to the proposed legislation, customers will not be able to try out different flavours before they buy products at vape stores.
The latest round of smoking laws will be introduced in Ontario on Jan. 1, and it has some in the vaping industry worried.
While the new laws — which, among other things, ban flavoured tobacco sales — don’t directly affect vape businesses, many think they offer a glimpse of the crackdown that will come.
The province has already said its law will, at the very least, ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places and workplaces. It was expected to take effect Jan. 1 but was delayed.
Unless changes are made to the proposed legislation, customers will not be able to try out different flavours before they buy products at vape stores. And, that could be a death knell for some of the many specialty stores popping up across Toronto.
“It would be terrible for us. It’s crucial for people to be able to sample flavours before they buy. I would say 99 per cent of our customers do that,” said Mike Wartooth of the Vape 29 store in Toronto.
Staff also wouldn’t be able to test and fix broken e-cigarettes indoors or show customers how to use them.
That alone has Yan Bar, owner of Eastern Bloc Vapes, concerned about the future of the industry in Ontario.
“If we’re not able to explain our product or how to use it, people will either not understand or misuse it,” he said. “We’re concerned a lot of people will go back to smoking if it’s made too difficult.”
That, he said, would be bad for both the booming vape industry and the health of his customers, many of whom turn to vaping as a way to quit cigarettes.
“We’re taking it one step at a time and waiting to see how it will go. I think 2016 will definitely be the year where the province will start making changes,” Bar said.
What the new laws mean for vape shops
The ban on flavoured tobacco will cut into revenues for cigar and smoke shops along with some convenience stores that sell it.
But, the impact isn’t expected to be substantial. That’s because flavoured tobacco products typically only make up a small portion of the businesses’ tobacco inventory, according to several Toronto store owners.
The ban on selling e-cigarettes to people younger than 19 will only hurt sales at some convenience stores that don’t voluntarily check ID. Many smoke, cigar and vape shops say they already have a policy in place to sell e-cigarettes only to those 19 and older.
By: Sanam Islam Metro Published on Mon Dec 28 2015 Metro News