Guidelines on the Sale of Nicotine Pouches

Recently, Health Canada has approved the sale of nicotine pouches as a nicotine replacement therapy smoking cessation product under the Natural Health Product Regulations, regulations which fall under the Food and Drugs Act. As a new and regulated product to the market, the 
Convenience Industry Council of Canada (CICC) has developed a set of guidelines for the sale of nicotine pouches at retail member locations.

Although the sale of such products is not required to be age-gated, nor have restricted access or advertising, as responsible retailers we recognize the importance of maintaining appropriate practices of regulated products.

The CICC recommends retailers ensure the following:

  1. Retailers should not sell nicotine pouches that are not approved by Health Canada
  2. Nicotine pouches should be sold as an age-restricted product the equivalent to the provincial legal age for the sale of tobacco at the point of purchase
  3. Retailers should always ask any person who looks to be under the age of 25 to provide valid, government issued photo-id to establish proof of age
  4. Nicotine pouch products should be kept behind the counter
  5. Retailers maintain reasonable efforts to avoid in-store advertising that may be seen to target youth

Finally, we will be updating our ID Please training program modules to include the sale of nicotine pouches as an age-gated product. We also recommend that retailers who do not use ID Please also update their own programs.

The introduction of new products presents an opportunity for our industry to reinforce our role as responsible community retailers. Nicotine pouches are an innovative offer for smokers that are trying to quit, and it is a product that convenience retailers are approved to sell. The CICC guidelines are to ensure that such products are sold appropriately and to maintain our reputation as responsible retailers.