LANGUAGE

Canada

Tobacco Control Policies

Canada became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 27, 2005.

Smoke Free Places: Smoking restrictions in workplaces and public places are generally the responsibility of provincial and territorial governments (Canada has 10 provinces and three territories), as well as municipal governments.  Under federal law, smoking is prohibited in all federal government workplaces, with a few limited exceptions for residential spaces and workspaces to which only one person normally has access during a shift (such as vehicular workspaces). Federally-regulated workplaces include the federal government and federal government institutions (e.g., armed forces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Crown corporations, federal prisons), as well as certain commercial sectors including transportation, broadcasting, telecommunications, and banking.  Other workplaces and public places fall under the jurisdiction of the provinces, territories, and municipalities.  Under sub-national legislation, smoking is prohibited in virtually all indoor public places and workplaces with the limited exception of designated smoking rooms in group living facilities, long-term care facilities, and specified hotel rooms.

Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: Most forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship are prohibited, with a few limited exceptions. Tobacco products may be advertised at adult-only venues and through direct mail to named adults. In addition, cross-border advertising is not restricted. Although sponsorship by the tobacco industry is not completely prohibited, publicity of the sponsorship is prohibited.

Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: As of February 7, 2020, plain packaging is required for all tobacco products.  Rotating pictorial health warnings must occupy 75 percent of principal display areas. There are some exceptions to this requirement: Bidis and smokeless tobacco products must display text-only warnings; and cigar bundles and boxes and pipe tobacco are required to carry a health warning of a specified font size, which in some instances may be less than 30 percent of the principal display area. Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light” and “ultra” and other signs, is prohibited. 

Tobacco Taxation and Prices: The World Health Organization recommends raising tobacco excise taxes so that they account for at least 70 percent of retail prices. Tobacco excise taxes in Canada are below these recommendations.   

Smoke-Free Environments - Complete Smoking Ban
  • Health-care facilities
  • Yes
  • Private offices
  • Yes
  • Primary and secondary schools
  • Yes
  • Public transport
  • Yes
  • Universities
  • Yes
  • Restaurants
  • Yes
  • Governmental facilities
  • No
  • Bars and pubs
  • Yes
  • Can subnational jurisdictions enact more stringent smoking restrictions?
  • Yes
Bans on Tobacco Advertising, Promotion, and Sponsorship
  • Domestic TV and radio
  • Yes
  • Promotional discounts
  • Yes
  • Domestic magazines and newspapers
  • Yes
  • Non-tobacco products or services with tobacco brand names
  • No
  • Outdoor advertising
  • Yes
  • Tobacco products with non-tobacco brand names
  • No
  • Point-of-sale advertising
  • No
  • Paid placement in media
  • Yes
  • Retail product display
  • No
  • Financial sponsorship, including corporate social responsibility
  • No
  • Internet advertising
  • No
  • Publicity of sponsorships
  • Yes
  • Free distribution
  • Yes
Health Warnings on Smoked Tobacco Products
  • Text warnings describe health impacts
  • Yes
  • Number of published warnings at any given time
  • 16
  • Warnings include a picture or graphic
  • Yes
  • Warnings required to rotate
  • Yes
  • % of principal display areas covered (front and back)
  • 75%
  • Warnings are written in the principal language(s)
  • Yes
  • Front
  • 75%
  • Ban on misleading packaging and labeling
  • Yes
  • Back
  • 75%
  • Health warnings on smokeless tobacco products
  • Yes
Tobacco Taxation and Price
  • PRICE OF MOST SOLD BRAND, PACK OF 20 CIGARETTES
  • TAXES ON MOST SOLD BRAND (% OF RETAIL PRICE)
  • In country currency
  • CAD
  • 11.81
  • Total taxes
  • 64%
  • In US dollars
  • USD
  • 9.07
  • Total excise
  • 55%

Sources:

SF, APS, PL: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Legal Website. Available at: www.tobaccocontrollaws.org

Tax: WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2019. Available at: https://www.who.int/tobacco/global_report/en/

Last updated: July 20, 2021