press release

Smoke-Free Ontario Act Amendments Protect Youth from Vaping

Point Edward, ON – To address an increased prevalence of youth vaping and to protect youth from vaping-related harms, Ontario has strengthened its Smoke-Free-Ontario Act, 2017 by restricting access to flavours, nicotine concentration, and promotions to those under 19 years of age.

Amendments took effect July 1, 2020.

New restrictions to reduce product appeal and access for under-age youth include:

  • Restricting the sale of flavoured vapour products to specialty vape stores (SVS) and licensed cannabis retail stores. Other retail stores can only sell tobacco, menthol, and mint flavoured vapour products
  • Restricting the sale of vapour products with high nicotine concentrations (greater than 20 mg/ml) to SVS
  • SVS are not permitted to have indoor displays and promotions that are visible from outside their stores

“Vapour products targeted youth with appealing flavours and retail advertising, and high nicotine concentrations made it more difficult to quit,” said Jennifer Graham, Health Promoter with Lambton Public Health. “Restrictions will help protect youth and non-users of tobacco products from the harms associated with vaping, and support ongoing tobacco control measures.”

Effects of Flavours and Nicotine

Research shows that appealing flavours contribute to vaping initiation. Also, youth are particularly vulnerable to the effects of nicotine, a highly addictive substance that poses health concerns including causing nicotine dependence and altering brain development. Research found high nicotine concentration products can deliver nicotine doses similar to cigarettes. Youth who use vapour products may be more likely to use tobacco products later on.


The SFOA, 2017 is enforced by Lambton Public Health Enforcement Officers who conduct inspections and provide education to ensure retailers comply with the law. For questions on enforcement, or to report concerns, contact 519-383-3810 or

For more about smoking and vaping laws visit


Please contact:

Jennifer Graham
Health Promoter
County of Lambton