Canada became the first country to implement pictorial health warnings on cigarette packages in June 2001. Health warnings were required to cover 50% of the front and 50% of the back of the package (one side in English and the other side in French). A message was required to appear on the inside of each package, either on the slide or on an insert. Canada required tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and benzene emission numbers to appear on the side of packages. Two numbers appeared from each emission: one from the ISO and one from the Health Canada machine smoking method.
A new set of 16 health warnings were implemented in 2012. The new warnings are larger and must cover 75% of the front and back of cigarette and little cigar packages. As of March 1, 2012, manufacturers and importers were prohibited from distributing products without the new health warnings. Retailers were given 3 months (until June 19, 2012) to transition to packages displaying the new warnings.
Canada prohibits the terms “light” and “mild” from appearing on packages.
Plain packaging is under formal consideration in Canada. On May 31, 2016, the Health Minister launched a three-month public consultation about the proposed plain packaging requirements for tobacco products.
Legislation and Regulations
Canada’s Legislation Library
Health Warning Reports, Publications & Presentations
Canada’s Health Warning Document Library
Plain Packaging Reports, Publications & Presentations
Canada’s Plain Packaging Document Library
Tobacco Package Images
Canada’s Cigarette Package Gallery
2012 to Present**
Exterior Packaging of Cigarettes
Exterior Packaging of Little Cigars
Toxic Emission Statements (Side Panel)
2001 to 2012**
** The images contained in this gallery are subject to Canadian copyright laws. Any duplication, reproduction, or use without the express consent of said party is prohibited. Countries should be contacted individually for usage of images.