Selling Tobacco & E-Cigarettes in Hamilton

You must have a Business License to sell tobacco 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 & e-cigarette sales legislation

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act:

  • Makes it against the law to buy, sell or give a person under 19 any tobacco products
  • Does not allow stores to have tobacco products where the public can see them
  • Requires signs in the locations affected by this law
  • Makes it illegal to sell favoured tobacco products including flavoured cigarillos. 
  • Allows an exemption for flavoured cigars that contain a flavouring or aroma of wine, port, whiskey or run and flavoured pipe tobacco.

On January 1, 2016 the Electronic Cigarettes Act:

  • Makes it illegal to sell or supply electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and component parts to anyone under 19 years of age.

New rules regulating the sale of e-cigarettes in prescribed places, display and promotion of e-cigarettes will be announced in 2016.

Age warning signs and Government I.D. signs

Signs must be posted in all places that sell tobacco and/or e-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 


Tobacco Enforcement Officers inspect all places that sell tobacco and/or e-cigarettes. 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 $250.  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