Canada : New comprehensive plain packaging regulations for tobacco packaging and products

On 1 May 2019, Canadian Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor announced the adoption of comprehensive plain packaging regulations for tobacco packaging and products, effective from 9 November 2019 at manufacturer level and 7 February 2020 at retail level.

Joining a growing number of countries, Canada now have one the most effective and stringent plain packaging legislation, with many measures to standardize and limit the attractiveness of tobacco, especially among young people. In accordance with National Tobacco Strategy and pursuant to the 1997 Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, this latest Tobacco Products Regulations (Plain and Standardized Appearance) include:

  • Mandatory slide and shell format and a rectangular cuboid shape;
  • A standardized design with a drab brown color base background, and the prohibition of distinctive colors, graphics or logos;
  • Banning of slim and cigarettes longer than 85mm;
  • Banning of tobacco promotions.

The regulations apply to all tobacco products, including unit packages for heated tobacco products. While the measures are not applicable to e-cigarettes, as they are not included in the definition of tobacco products, provincial legislation may want to include them for specific purposes.

With those new regulations, Canada will be the country with the largest health warning on cigarette packs in the world in terms of surface area.


Tobacco Products Regulations (Plain and Standardized Appearance):

Further information can be found on the Tobacco and Vaping Product Act: