B.C. will hit vaping products with a new 20 per cent tax rate, along with restrictions on nicotine levels and advertising, but no ban on flavours.

B.C. will hike taxes on vaping products and restrict the amount of nicotine in e-cigarettes but not ban flavoured vape juice, under new regulations revealed Thursday.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said he will introduce legislation this month to increase the provincial sales tax from seven per cent to 20 per cent on vaping products, becoming the first province in Canada to specifically tax e-cigarettes.

The new tax rate will come into effect Jan. 1, 2020, if the legislation passes. It would also increase the tobacco tax rate by two cents to 29.5 cents per cigarette.

“Youth vaping rates are rising, putting them at risk for addiction and serious illness,” said Dix. “That’s why we are bringing in the most comprehensive plan in the country, and supporting young people to end this dangerous trend.”

The vape tax will generate roughly $10 million a year in new revenue, and the additional tobacco tax is expected to add $25 million to the provincial treasury.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that usually contain nicotine-infused liquid, which is combined with vapour when the user inhales.

“Yes, it is a big tax jump and one that really signifies the urgency of this problem,” said Finance Minister Carole James.

“We know that youth are particularly price sensitive, so when you make a product more expensive and harder to access, use will decline.”

Read full article here.

Rob Shaw – Vancouver Sun – November 14, 2019.

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