Regulation - LGIC

Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 Regulation

Regulation Number(s):
Regulation 268/18
Bill or Act:
Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA, 2017)
Summary of Proposal:
Requirements for Tobacconists Registered under the former SFOA, 2006

Specialty tobacco stores (known as tobacconists) can display and promote specialty tobacco products (i.e. tobacco products, other than cigarettes, and tobacco product accessories), if certain requirements are met.

Ontario Regulation 268/18 defines tobacconists with reference to the percentage of their inventory or sales that is comprised of specialty tobacco products and related products. Currently, tobacconists must demonstrate that:

• at least 85% of their inventory/sales is comprised of specialty tobacco products, and
• the remaining up to 15% of their inventory/sales is comprised of cigarettes, items reasonably associated with a specialty tobacco product and/or items branded with the brand of a tobacco product or the name of the tobacconist.

Under the former Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA, 2006), tobacconists were required to demonstrate that at least 50% of their sales/inventory was comprised of specialty tobacco products.

The SFOA, 2017 outlines a time-limited grandparenting rule for tobacconists that were registered with the MOH under the former SFOA, 2006, immediately before that legislation was replaced by the SFOA, 2017 that gives these tobacconists until December 31, 2019 to meet the 85% and 15% inventory/sales requirements described above, as long as prior to that deadline at least 50% of their inventory continues to consist of specialty tobacco products.

The ministry is proposing amendments to Ontario Regulation 268/18 to amend the inventory/sales requirements for existing tobacconists as follows:

• If the tobacconist registers with its board of health prior to January 1, 2020, then:
o At least 50% of the establishment's total inventory must be comprised of specialty tobacco products, at the time of registration.
o During every 12 month period after registering with the board of health, at least 50% of the establishment's total sales for the applicable 12 month period must be from specialty tobacco products.

Tobacconists that have already registered with their board of health and are complying with the 85%/15% requirements would transition to this proposed new 50% rule.

Tobacconists that register with their board of health on or after January 1, 2020 must comply with the existing 85%/15% inventory and sales requirements described above.

Prescribed Signs

Currently, Ontario Regulation 268/18 under the SFOA, 2017 prescribes certain signs that must be posted by retailers of tobacco products or vapour products, as well as employers and proprietors responsible for smoke and vape-free places.

The ministry is proposing technical amendments to Ontario Regulation 268/18 to allow for the posting of signs that have Ontario's 2019 Trillium logo. Signs with the former Trillium logo would remain compliant with the regulation.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
If approved, the proposed regulatory amendment would not impose any additional costs on existing tobacconists and would reduce burden on businesses.

Requirements for Existing Tobacconists

If the proposed amendments are approved, existing tobacconists that register with their board of health prior to January 1, 2020, will only need to demonstrate that at least 50% of the store's sales/inventory is comprised of specialty tobacco products (e.g., cigars), with no restrictions on the remaining percentage. The proposal would allow these businesses to continue to operate under the same business model that was allowed under the former SFOA, 2006, in order to support these businesses in remaining competitive and sustainable. New tobacconists that register with their board of health on or after January 1, 2020 would need to comply with the 85%/15% inventory and sales requirements.

Prescribed Signs and the Updated Ontario Trillium Logo

The proposed amendments relating to signs would support the government's commitment to implement the updated Ontario Trillium logo at no/low cost and without waste by ensuring that all signs (previously developed and newly developed) are compliant and utilizable.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
19-HLTC029
Posting Date:
October 28, 2019
Comments Due Date:
November 27, 2019
Contact Address:
Laura Pisko, Director
Health Improvement Policy and Programs Branch
Ministry of Health 393 University Avenue, Suite 2100
Toronto, ON M7A 2S1
Comment on this proposal via email