New Tobacco and Vaping Products Legislation Receives Royal Assent 

News release

Bill S-5 creates a new approach to regulating vaping products and advances work on plain and standardized packaging for tobacco products 

May 23, 2018    Ottawa, ON     Health Canada

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of premature death and disease in Canada. Every 12 minutes, a Canadian dies from a tobacco-related illness. Today, Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts received Royal Assent. This is a major milestone in efforts to address and further reduce the harms of tobacco use in Canada. 

Bill S-5 introduces new measures to help manage the risks and benefits of vaping products. Bill S-5 provides a balance between protecting youth from nicotine addiction and tobacco use, and allowing adults to legally access vaping products as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes. 

A number of measures take effect immediately, including a ban on the sale of vaping products to those under 18 years of age. The Bill allows the Government of Canada to implement child-resistant packaging for vaping liquids with nicotine, to help protect children from nicotine poisoning.

The Bill prohibits the promotion of vaping products that are appealing to youth, such as products with appealing flavours like dessert or confectionery flavours. It also restricts the promotion of vaping products, including a ban on all lifestyle advertising. Other forms of promotion, such as sponsorships and celebrity endorsements, are also restricted. 

Bill S-5 also provides new regulatory authorities that will allow the Government of Canada to make new regulations to require plain and standardized packaging for tobacco products. Research has shown that measures such as the removal of logos, textures, colours and brand images help make tobacco products less attractive and therefore less appealing, particularly to youth. 

The new measures introduced through Bill S-5 advance the Government of Canada’s comprehensive new vision for addressing tobacco use. This vision will see more Canadians quit smoking, fewer Canadians dying because of tobacco use, and a new generation of Canadians with a greater awareness of the dangers of tobacco. 


“This important legislation is the next step in the Government’s efforts to protect young Canadians from nicotine addiction and tobacco use. We’re taking a principled and flexible approach to reducing the harms of tobacco use by protecting youth and non-users of tobacco products from nicotine addiction and inducements to use tobacco. We’re also placing restrictions on the promotion of vaping products while allowing adults to legally access them as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes, and advancing work to introduce plain and standardized packaging for tobacco products.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor 
Minister of Health 

Quick facts

  • According to the 2015 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 13% of Canadians aged 15 and up (3.9 million) had tried an e-cigarette, an increase from the 9% (or 2.5 million) reported in 2013. 

  • One in four youth (26%) aged 15 to 19 had tried an e-cigarette, up from 20% in 2013.

  • The vast majority of smokers begin by adolescence or young adulthood. In Canada, 82% of current adult daily smokers had smoked their first cigarette by the age of 18. 

  • In 2015 alone, 115,000 Canadians began smoking cigarettes daily. 

  • In the coming months, Health Canada will pre-publish proposed regulations to require standardized tobacco packaging to Canada Gazette, Part I for consultation. 

Associated links


Thierry Bélair 
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor 
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

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