Tobacco and Vaping Enforcement

Enforcement activities

Region of Waterloo Public Health and Paramedic Services conducts local inspections and investigations to enforce the different legislations. Tobacco Enforcement Officer’s conduct:

  • Inspections on retail stores to enforce the prohibition of sale or supply of tobacco products or electronic cigarettes to persons under 19 years of age
  • Inspections of each retail store enforcing the Smoke-Free Ontario Act on display, promotion and packaging of tobacco and vape products and ensuring mandatory signage is posted
  • Inspections of each secondary school
  • Conducting inspections and investigations in response to complaints made under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act 

To either make a request for information or to file a complaint please call 519-575-4400.

Click here for the Student No Smoking or Vaping Violation Form

 Smoke-Free Ontario Act 2017
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) 2017 protects people from exposure to second-hand smoke and discourages young people from starting to smoke.

The SFOA includes, but is not limited to:

  • Prohibiting the sale or supply of tobacco products (including smokeless tobacco) and vape products to persons less than 19 years of age (and who appears to be less than 25 years old without asking for identification)
  • Prohibiting the sale of tobacco and vape products in retail settings if prescribed signs are not posted
  • Prohibiting the sale of tobacco and vape products in vending machines
  • Prohibiting an employer from retaliating against an employee because the employee has acted in accordance with the Act
  • Regulating the display, promotion and packaging of tobacco and vape products in retail stores
  • Prohibits either smoking or holding lit tobacco or cannabis and the use of vape products including, without being limited to:
    • Enclosed public place and workplaces, including workplace vehicles and child care centres across Ontario
    • Bar or restaurant patios and public areas within nine metres from the perimeter of a bar or restaurant patio
    • Within 20 metres of a playground with an exemption on private residential property
    • Within 20 metres of either a municipally or provincially owned sports fields and sporting area
    • The outdoor grounds of a community recreation facility and public areas within 20 metres of the perimeter of these grounds
    • The outdoor grounds of a school and within 20 metres of the perimeter of these grounds
    • Nine meters from the entrance and exit of hospitals and residential care facilities, which includes long-term care homes and publicly funded supportive housing
    • Any indoor common area in a condominium, apartment building or university or college residence, including, without being limited to, elevators, hallways, parking garages, party or entertainment rooms, laundry facilities, lobbies and exercise areas
    • Outdoor grounds of hospitals, psychiatric facilities and the outdoor grounds of specified office buildings owned by the Province
    • Prohibits either smoking or holding lit tobacco or cannabis in a vehicle or boat containing a person who is less than 16 years of age
    • Prohibits selling or offering to sell tobacco and cannabis on university and college campuses
    • Prohibits the sale of flavoured tobacco products (with certain exemptions)

 Non-Smokers' Health Act

Employment and Social Development Canada: The Federal Government’s Labour Program, is responsible for administering and enforcing the Non-smokers' Health Act which restricts smoking and vaping in federally regulated workplaces such as government offices and commercial airplanes.

For more information on the Non-Smokers’ Health Act, you may contact, Occupational Health & Safety for the Ontario region (ON-LAB-TRA-HOIR_RESCR-GD@labour
 Tobacco and Vaping Products Act

Health Canada, administers and enforces the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA) for which regulates the manufacture, sale, labelling and promotion of tobacco products and vaping products sold in Canada. The title of the Tobacco Act was changed to the TVPA in 2018.

New regulations for tobacco and vaping products are regularly considered as part of Canada's comprehensive regulation making process. For more information, consult Health Canada's Forward Regulatory Plan.

For more information on the TVPA, you may contact Health Canada, Tobacco Control Directorate, Tobacco and Vaping Compliance and Enforcement Program
Tobacco Tax Act
The Tobacco Tax Act is administered by the Ministry of Finance. Their mandate is to create a visible deterrent to tobacco tax evasion and other forms of non-compliance.
Tobacconist or Specialty Vape Store Applications

The Ontario Ministry of Health requires businesses who choose to open and operate as either a Tobacconist or a Specialty Vape Store within Ontario, send their completed application to their local Public Health unit, where the business will be located. In the Region of Waterloo, the appropriate application shall be filled out and emailed to, the Licensing and Enforcement Services department for review, by a Tobacco Enforcement Officer, and to discuss next steps in the process.”


Please see below, for the application that is applicable to your business. If you either require further assistance in completing your application, or if you feel that your application is ready to be submitted, please email to, the Licensing and Enforcement Services department.

Tobacconist Stores

Speciality Vape Stores

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 allows the sampling and display of vapour products in specialty vape stores if they meet certain conditions. Read more about the rules for selling tobacco and vapour products.

Food and Drugs Act - Natural Health Product Regulations

On July 18, 2023, Health Canada approved the sale of Zonnic nicotine pouches as a nicotine replacement therapy smoking cessation product under the Natural Health Product Regulations, regulations which fall under the Food and Drugs Act. The approval was given to Nicoventures Trading Ltd.Both Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. and Nicoventures Trading Ltd. are subsidiaries of British American Tobacco.

On Oct. 12, 2023, Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. announced that it had begun selling the Zonnic nicotine pouches.

For more information, on the Food and Drug Act, including Unauthorized nicotine buccal pouches, please contact 1-866-225-0709 or email,

Vaping Excise Stamps - Excise Act, 2001

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is, responsible for the administration, regulation and enforcement of, the Excise Act, 2001 including but not limited to, the Stamping and Marking of Tobacco, Cannabis and Vaping Products. For further information, you may also reference Overview of Vaping Excise Stamps

To make a general or technical enquiry on excise stamps, you may contact: Excise Stamp Order Desk, Excise and Specialty Tax Directorate, Canada Revenue Agency Telephone: 1‑866‑330‑3304

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