Health Requirements & Inspections

Selling Tobacco & E-Cigarettes in Hamilton

You must have a Business License to sell tobacco and electronic cigarettes/vapour products in the City of Hamilton.  You must also have either a Tobacco Retail Dealer's Permit or Vendor's Permit under the Retail Sales Tax Act to sell or deliver tobacco to a consumer.

Tobacco & vapour product sales

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act:

  • Makes it against the law to buy, sell or give a person under 19 any tobacco or vapour products
  • Does not allow stores to have tobacco or vapour products or branded tobacco product accessories where the public can see them
  • Requires signs in the locations affected by this law
  • Makes it illegal to sell favoured tobacco and vapour products including flavoured cigarillos at retail (with limited exemptions for specialty stores). 
  • Makes it illegal to sell vapour products with concentrations above 20 mg/ml at retail (exemption for registered Specialty Vape Stores)
  • Allows an exemption for flavoured cigars that contain a flavouring or aroma of wine, port, whiskey or rum and flavoured pipe tobacco.

Age warning signs and Government I.D. signs

Signs must be posted in all places that sell tobacco and/or electronic cigarettes. You can get free signs by:

  • Picking them up at Public Health Services, 110 King Street West, 2nd Floor, Hamilton
  • Calling the Tobacco Hotline 905-540-5566 or emailing [email protected] 



Tobacco Enforcement Officers inspect all places that sell tobacco and/or vapour products. They also investigate complaints about these places.  A ticket and fine are given to people or places that do not follow the law. Fines start at $400.  Tobacco Enforcement Officers may seize tobacco products that are prohibited for sale under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.

To request an inspection for your new store

If you have questions about the law or you want to request an inspection for your new store:

Phone: Tobacco Hotline 905-540-5566
Email: [email protected]