Regulating tobacco and vaping products: Tobacco products regulations

On this page

Tobacco Products Appearance, Packaging and Labelling Regulations

The Tobacco Products Appearance, Packaging and Labelling Regulations (TPAPLR), adopted under the authority of the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act in 2023, amended the previous Tobacco Products Regulations (Plain and Standardized Appearance) to consolidate all appearance, packaging and labelling requirements for tobacco products under a single set of regulations. It repealed the previous Tobacco Products Information Regulations (2000) and the Tobacco Products Labelling Regulations (Cigarettes and Little Cigars) (2011) while strengthening and expanding health-related message requirements to all tobacco products on the Canadian retail market.

The TPAPLR mandate that all tobacco product packages must display health warnings, including information on the quit line and available cessation web portal services, as well as toxicity information. This requirement aligns with Canada's international labelling obligations under the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, for which Canada is a Party since 2004.

The TPAPLR are the first regulations in the world to require the display of health warnings directly on tobacco products (cigarettes, little cigars with tipping paper, and tubes, as well as cigarettes without tipping paper). They also continue to require the display of health information messages on the inside of packages of cigarettes, little cigars, and cigarette tobacco. These messages inform tobacco users about the benefits of quitting and provide smoking cessation tips to help users of tobacco products live a smoke-free life.

Moreover, the TPAPLR include a rotation scheme for all health-related messages to ensure they remain memorable, noticeable, and impactful. The ambulatory incorporation by reference of the document entitled Labelling Elements for Tobacco Products (Source Document) allows Health Canada to update the health-related messages from time to time to reflect the latest medical and scientific information available without having to amend the TPAPLR.

Tobacco Reporting Regulations

Under the Tobacco Reporting Regulations, Canadian manufacturers and importers must provide Health Canada with information about their tobacco products and, where applicable, the products' emissions. In addition to information on sales, ingredients, manufacturing procedures, promotional activities and research activities, manufacturers and importers must report on over 20 constituents (substances found in tobacco) and 40 emissions (substances found in smoke).

The Tobacco Reporting Regulations were amended in 2005 and in 2019. As part of the latest changes, the official methods for the sampling and testing of tobacco products were updated to reflect technological advances.

Tobacco (Access) Regulations

The Tobacco (Access) Regulations set out the types of documentation that may be used to verify the age of a person wanting to purchase tobacco products. The Regulations also exempt duty-free shop operators from section 11 of the Act, which prohibits the sale of tobacco products by means of a self-service display.

Promotion of Tobacco Products and Accessories Regulations (Prohibited Terms)

The Promotion of Tobacco Products and Accessories Regulations (Prohibited Terms) prohibit the use of the terms "light" and "mild," and variations thereof, on cigarettes, little cigars, bidis, kreteks, cigarette tobacco, tobacco sticks, cigarette papers, filters, and tubes. The Regulations also apply to tobacco accessories, defined in the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act as a product that may be used in the consumption of a tobacco product, including pipes, cigarette holders, cigar clips, lighters, and matches. The prohibition applies to the products, their packaging, advertising, promotions, and to retail displays.

Tobacco (Seizure and Restoration) Regulations

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act contains enforcement powers that can be exercised by designated tobacco inspectors. These powers include the ability to seize a tobacco product or other item to which the Act applies.

The owner of a seized product or item can apply to a court for restoration of a seized product or item. The Tobacco (Seizure and Restoration) Regulations set out the information that the owner of the seized product must provide to the Minister when such an application is made.

The Regulations also require that the inspector give the owner or person in charge of the place where a product or thing is seized a copy of these Regulations at the time of seizure, so they are aware of restoration procedures.

Cigarette Ignition Propensity (Consumer Products) Regulations

Fires started by lit tobacco products are the leading known cause of fire-related death in Canada. To address this issue, Health Canada requires all cigarettes manufactured or imported for sale in Canada to have a reduced likelihood of igniting upholstered furniture, mattresses and bedding.

Since October 2005, Health Canada has been sampling and testing cigarettes to determine whether they comply with the prescribed ignition propensity standard. The table of results of the laboratory analyses conducted on samples collected to date by Health Canada are updated as warranted.

The Cigarette Ignition Propensity (Consumer Products) Regulations replaced the former Cigarette Ignition Propensity Regulations in 2016, and were adopted under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA).

For More Information

Page details

Date modified: