Forward Regulatory Plan 2019-2021: Tobacco Products Regulations (Plain and Standardized Appearance)

Title of Regulatory Initiative

Tobacco Products Regulations (Plain and Standardized Appearance)

Enabling Act

Tobacco and Vaping Products Act


On May 23, 2018, the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA) received Royal Assent.

The TVPA enables the Government of Canada to develop regulations regarding plain and standardized appearance measures for tobacco products.

This takes the Government of Canada one step closer to delivering on its mandate commitment to complete the introduction of plain and standardized requirements for tobacco products.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

Plain packaging is supported by the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to which Canada is a Party. Guidelines adopted in 2010 for the implementation of Articles 11 and 13 of the FCTC recommend that Parties consider introducing plain packaging measures. Country-specific plain packaging action is emerging across the globe, with measures implemented in six countries, Australia (2012), the United Kingdom (2017), France (2017) as well as Ireland, Norway and New Zealand (2018). Hungary, Slovenia and Uruguay have announced implementation dates by 2020. Over 18 other countries have announced their intention to introduce plain packaging measures.

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

The proposed regulations will impact Canadians, particularly youth. Reducing inducements to tobacco use, by reducing the appeal of tobacco packages and the products they contain, is expected to help further reduce the appeal and attractiveness of tobacco products. This, in association with other tobacco control measures, will help prevent youth and others from tobacco initiation and becoming lifelong tobacco users. In addition, tobacco manufacturers will be required to make changes to tobacco product packaging and to certain tobacco products in order to comply with new requirements.


Informal consultations were launched on May 31, 2016 and ended on August 31, 2016.

A summary of the comments from the consultation was published on January 18, 2017 as part of the National Non-Smoking Week.

On June 23, 2018, the proposed Tobacco Regulations (Plain and Standardized Appearance) were published in Canada Gazette, Part I for a 75-day public consultation, ending September 6, 2018.

The publication of the regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part ll, is expected to take place in spring 2019.

Information on previous consultations and details on upcoming opportunities for consultation in the area of tobacco and vaping can be found on the website.

Further information

Additional information can be requested from the Departmental contact.

Departmental contact information

Saira David
Director, Labelling and Plain Packaging
Tobacco Control Directorate
Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch
Health Canada

Telephone number: 613-946-8662
Email address:

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan

April 1, 2016

Consult Health Canada’s acts and regulations web page for:

  • a list of acts and regulations administered by Health Canada
  • further information on Health Canada’s implementation of government-wide regulatory management initiatives

Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit:

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