What is Plain Packaging?

WHAT DOES “PLAIN AND STANDARDIZED TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND PACKAGING” MEAN?

In 2019, the Government enacted regulations entitled the Tobacco Product Regulations (Plain and Standardized Appearance), which aims to standardize the packaging and appearance of all tobacco products sold in Canada.

Plain and standardized tobacco products and packaging regulations will prohibit most forms of unique branding or other product and packaging characteristics that would differentiate one tobacco product and its packaging from another.

WHAT IMPACT WILL THE TOBACCO PRODUCT REGULATIONS (PLAIN AND STANDARDIZED APPEARANCE) HAVE ON TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND THEIR PACKAGING?

The Tobacco Product Regulations (Plain and Standardized Appearance) will introduce new restrictions on tobacco product packaging, requiring, for example, the use of drab dark brown colour on packs and prohibiting the use of any design elements, logos or branding, other than regulated brand nomenclature.

In addition, the new regulations also restrict the appearance of tobacco products. For example, cigarette products must not carry any brand names or logos and are limited to regular and king size formats with a ban on slim and demi-slim cigarette formats.

WHAT CIGARETTE FORMATS WILL BE PERMITTED FOR SALE?

Only Regular and King Size cigarettes will be permitted for sale in Canada once the new regulations come into effect.

WHY ARE CIGARETTE PACKS AND OTHER TOBACCO PACKAGING GREEN/BROWN?

“This colour (Pantone 448C) is the package colour selected by all countries that have implemented plain packaging measures for tobacco products. Health Canada also commissioned a public opinion research (2016–17) that confirmed that the Canadian population findings were consistent with those for Australia whereby Pantone 448C, a drab dark brown, was considered to be an unappealing colour.”

(Source: Health Canada, 2018).