Tobacco Retailers

It is the responsibility of retailers to ensure that they and their staff know and comply with BC tobacco laws

These resources will assist you in complying with the requirements:

Island Health inspections

Island Health Tobacco Enforcement Officers carry out routine and complaint inspections to monitor compliance with the provincial Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act and regulation including:

  • Inspections involving minor test shoppers – staff under the age of 19 who try to purchase tobacco and vapour products from retailers; and
  • Routine and complaint inspections to monitor compliance with retailer signage, display and promotion.


Non-compliance is managed via progressive compliance, beginning with education and progressing in severity to include fines and/or suspension of the retailer’s licence to sell tobacco products if non-compliance continues. More information is available at: www.health.gov.bc.ca/tobacco/violations.html 

Strategies to prevent non-compliance

Tobacco retailers have a responsibility to stay in compliance with tobacco laws.  For tips on how to do this, refer to: Stategies to Prevent Non-compliance

Applying to sell tobacco products

Before you can sell tobacco products in B.C., you need to register as a Retail Dealer.  You must have a separate Tobacco Retail Authorization (TRA) permit for each retail location where you sell taxable tobacco in B.C., including vending machines.  The BC Ministry of Finance administers the sale of tobacco through the Tobacco Retail Authorization and the Tobacco Tax

Once you have a valid Tobacco Retail Authorization or Exempt Sale Retail Dealer permit, you need to complete these forms and submit them to your local Tobacco Prevention and Control office: