Legislation Addresses Rise in Youth Vaping

Amendments to the Tobacco Access Act and the Smoke-free Places Act aim to prevent a new generation of Nova Scotians from becoming addicted to nicotine.

These legislative changes build on a first-of-its-kind in Canada ban on flavoured e-cigarette products announced in December.

Amendments to the acts tabled today, Feb. 27, will:

  • give the province regulatory authority over the nicotine content of tobacco, e-cigarettes and other products, protecting youth from potentially hazardous nicotine levels
  • broaden the definition of tobacco to include other types of tobacco-less nicotine products, allowing the province to better address emerging nicotine products that may be appealing to youth
  • allow peace officers to require individuals to provide information and reasonable assistance in investigating a potential breach of the act and provide peace officers the authority to confiscate and dispose of e-cigarettes from youth who are underage, similar to what is done for tobacco and alcohol
  • clarify language about smoking and vaping on unlicensed outdoor patio spaces, ensuring locations where people work and frequent remain smoke-free

“Nova Scotia has long been a leader in promoting a smoke-free culture, especially for our youth,” said Randy Delorey, Minister of Health and Wellness. “Vaping rates among young people have been growing and we’re concerned with what we’re seeing. We believe these legislative changes, along with the flavour ban, new taxation measures and stronger licensing and inspection, will help us gain ground once again.”

As announced in Budget 2020-21, the province will implement a tax on vaping products sold in Nova Scotia. All retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers of vaping products will be required to be licensed to sell their products in Nova Scotia.

The province will also roll out a public education campaign about the risks of vaping to youth.


As we work to strengthen legislative measures around vaping, it’s important for youth to hear a straightforward message – if you don’t smoke or vape, don’t start. Vaping products are addictive and contain chemicals that can harm your development and long-term health. If you’re ready to quit, reach out for help. Talk to your parents, your doctor, or visit a youth health centre. Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health

Whether it’s a fetus in the womb, a young child or an adolescent, we know nicotine is toxic to the developing brain. It physically changes the brain’s structure and has strong addictive properties that can last a lifetime. Anything we can do to reduce the nicotine content in these products is a big win. Dr. Dimas Mateos, pediatric respirologist, IWK Health Centre

The Lung Association of Nova Scotia supports the government taking measures that improve the lung health of Nova Scotians. We believe these enhanced measures will help make Nova Scotia a healthier place to live and breathe. Robert MacDonald, president and CEO Lung Association of Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:

  • Nova Scotia’s ban on flavoured e-cigarette products goes into effect on April 1
  • in Nova Scotia e-cigarette products cannot be sold to people under 19, products must be kept out of view unless that is the only product the store sells and minors are not permitted entry, no promotion at the register or point-of-sale and no signs or advertising outside the store
  • between 2017 and 2018, the number of young people smoking in Canada increased for the first time in several decades; youth vaping in Nova Scotia increased 68 per cent between 2014-15 and 2016-17
  • 38 per cent of Nova Scotia students thought there was no or only a slight risk associated with regular e-cigarette use
  • more than 2,700 cases of severe lung disease have been reported in the United States among people who vape, with 64 deaths. There have been 18 such cases of severe lung disease reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada, with no deaths

Additional Resources:

Information about the risks of vaping: https://novascotia.ca/vaping

Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/vaping

Province Bans Sales of Flavoured E-Cigarettes, Commits to Legislation: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20191205001