LANGUAGE
Last updated: September 17th 2019

Regulated Forms of Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship

Domestic TV and radio (including all broadcast media such as satellite and cable)

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act contains a prohibition on promotion of tobacco products subject to specific, limited exemptions, and there is no exemption for domestic broadcast media; therefore, advertising and promotion via any domestic broadcast medium, including TV, radio, satellite, and cable, is prohibited.

This law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to domestic TV, radio, and other broadcast media.

Domestic newspapers and magazines

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act contains a prohibition on promotion of tobacco products subject to specific, limited exemptions, and there is no exemption for domestic print media; therefore, advertising and promotion by domestic newspapers and magazines is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to domestic newspapers and magazines.

Other domestic print media, such as pamphlets, leaflet, flyers, posters, signs (not including print advertising at the point of sale)

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act contains a prohibition on promotion of tobacco products subject to specific, limited exemptions that include allowing advertising in direct mail to an identified adult, and on signage in places where young persons are not permitted by law. Therefore, advertising and promotion by domestic print media, such as pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, posters, and signs, is restricted. Such permitted advertising must not be “lifestyle advertising” or appealing to young persons.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, there should be a comprehensive ban on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, including direct mail and signage in places where young persons are not permitted.

International TV and radio (including all broadcast media such as satellite and cable)

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act prohibits promotion of tobacco products with specific, limited exemptions, including an exemption for radio and television broadcasts that originate outside Canada. Television broadcast is interpreted to include broadcast by other media such as satellite and cable. Therefore, tobacco advertising and promotion by international TV and radio broadcast and other international broadcast media is allowed. However, pursuant to Sec. 31(3), no person in Canada may use foreign media to promote tobacco products.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, there should be a comprehensive ban on all domestic and cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, to the extent allowed by the Canadian Constitution.

International newspapers and magazines

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act prohibits promotion of tobacco products with specific, limited exemptions, including an exemption for imported publications. Therefore, advertising and promotion by international newspapers and magazines is allowed. However, pursuant to Sec. 31(3), no person in Canada may use foreign media to promote tobacco products.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, there should be a comprehensive ban on all domestic and cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, to the extent allowed by the Canadian Constitution.

Internet communications

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Internet communications (not sales)

Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act contains a prohibition on promotion of tobacco products subject to specific, limited exemptions, including an exemption for imported publications and broadcasts. In practice, under this provision international internet communications have continued to be allowed. However, pursuant to Sec. 31(3), no person in Canada may use foreign media to promote tobacco products.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, there should be a comprehensive ban on all domestic and cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, including via internet communications, to the extent allowed by the Canadian Constitution.

Internet tobacco product sales

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act allows internet tobacco product sales to an adult within the same province as the seller, but the Act prohibits sending or delivering a tobacco product to a young person (defined as a person under the age of 18). The Act also prohibits sending or delivering a tobacco product from one province to another, or advertising an offer to send or deliver a tobacco product from one province to another. These provisions, however, allow internet tobacco product sales to an adult within the same province as the seller. At least one province, Quebec, requires face-to-face retail sales, which makes internet tobacco products sales illegal. Accordingly, the regulatory status "Some Restrictions" is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit both domestic and cross-border internet sales of tobacco products as these are a form of tobacco advertising and promotion, as provided in FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines para. 18.

Law Source, Section

Outdoor advertising (e.g., billboards, posters)

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act contains a prohibition on the promotion of tobacco products subject to specific, limited exemptions, but there is no exemption for outdoor advertising; therefore, advertising and promotion by outdoor advertising is prohibited.

This provision aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines.

Point of sale advertising/promotion

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Point of sale advertising/promotion (other than product displays)

Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (Sec. 22(2)(c)) permits signs in places where persons under 18 years of age are not permitted, which is interpreted to include point of sale locations such as entertainment venues. The content is restricted to “information advertising” (factual information about a product, its characteristics, availability, and price) and “brand preference advertising” (promoting a product by means of brand characteristics) that is neither “lifestyle advertising” (see definition section) nor advertising that appeals to people under 18 years of age.

Point of sale advertising is not allowed at other retail establishments pursuant to Secs. 19 and 22(1) of the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, which contain general prohibitions on tobacco promotion/advertising. However, as an exception to this, a retailer may post signs indicating availability and price of tobacco products (Sec. 30). Most provinces and territories have significant further restrictions on permitted signage at point of sale, including many provinces and territories that prohibit any brand element on such signs.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, there should be a comprehensive ban on all domestic and cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, to the extent allowed by the Canadian Constitution.

Point of sale product display

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act prohibits the sale of tobacco products by means of a display that allows customers to handle the product before paying for it. However, duty-free shop retailers are exempt from this self-service display prohibition. In addition, under the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, other types of visual display, e.g., behind the counter, are allowed.

All provinces and territories have legislation banning retail displays, with some but not all provinces and territories providing exemptions for tobacconists (as defined in each sub-national law) and for duty-free stores. A minority of provinces/territories provide an exemption for retail outlets where minors are not permitted.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit the display and visibility of tobacco products at all points of sale as this is form of advertising and there should be a comprehensive ban on all domestic and cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, to the extent allowed by the Canadian Constitution.

Vending machines

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act prohibits furnishing or permitting the furnishing of a tobacco product or vaping product by means of a dispensing device except in a bar, tavern, or beverage room and the devices must have a prescribed security mechanism.

To align with FCTC Art. 13, the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, and FCTC Art. 16, the law should prohibit all vending machine sales of tobacco products as such sales are an inherent form of tobacco advertising and promotion.

Conventional mail

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act allows for the mailing of promotional material addressed to an adult identified by name. The content of the advertising itself is restricted to “information advertising” (factual information about product, characteristics, availability and price) and “brand preference advertising” (promoting a product by means of brand characteristics).

Under the Act, advertisements and promotional material sent by conventional mail may not contain “lifestyle advertising” or advertising that may appeal to young persons. “Lifestyle advertising” means “advertising that associates a product with, or evokes a positive or negative emotion about or image of, a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.”

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, there should be a comprehensive ban on all domestic and cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, to the extent allowed by the Canadian Constitution.

Telephone and cellular phone

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act does not specifically address tobacco advertising and promotion by telephone and cellular phone. However, the Act prohibits the promotion/advertising of any tobacco product except as authorized by the Act (Secs. 19, 22(1)) and, further, prohibits the dissemination of any tobacco promotion prohibited by the Act (Sec. 31). Because no provision of the Act expressly allows telephone and cellular phone tobacco advertising and promotion, these provisions of the Act are interpreted as prohibiting telephone and cellular phone tobacco advertising and promotion.

This provision aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines.

Brand marking on physical structures

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Distinctive words, designs, images, logos, sounds, or colors to promote tobacco products in entertainment venues, retail outlets, on vehicles and equipment, or other physical structures (brand marking on physical structures, other than on tobacco product packaging and labeling and print material)

Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act restricts, but does not prohibit, brand marking. Tobacco brand elements may be displayed on products and services, except for products and services associated with or appealing to people under 18 years of age, or products and services “associated with a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.” This provision is interpreted as prohibiting the display of tobacco product brand elements on entertainment venues, as these are services associated with recreation.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, there should be a comprehensive ban on all domestic and cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, including the use of brand marking, to the extent allowed by the Canadian Constitution.

Free distribution of tobacco products

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act prohibits the free distribution of tobacco products as well as accessories that bear a tobacco product brand element.

This provision aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, and meets FCTC Art. 16 with respect to sales to minors.

Promotions with a tobacco product purchase

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Promotional discounts, gifts, prizes, rewards to consumers in conjunction with a tobacco product purchase (e.g., buy one pack, get one free or, key chains, t-shirts, coupons, points)

Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act prohibits the offering or providing of any consideration for the purchase of a tobacco product, including any promotional discounts, gifts, prizes, or rewards.

This provision aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines.

Competitions associated with tobacco products

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Competitions associated with tobacco products or brand names, whether requiring the purchase of a tobacco product or not

Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act prohibits promotion of sponsorship that displays a tobacco product brand element or tobacco manufacturer name. This provision is interpreted as prohibiting competitions associated with tobacco products or brand names, as this is a form of promotion of sponsorship.

This provision aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines.

Direct person to person targeting of individuals

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act is interpreted as prohibiting person-to-person direct marketing. The Act prohibits the promotion of a tobacco product or of a tobacco product-related brand element except as authorized by the Act (Secs. 19, 22(1)) and, further, prohibits the dissemination of any promotion of a tobacco product prohibited by the Act (Sec. 31). Because no provision of the law allows person-to-person direct targeting, the law is interpreted as prohibiting this form of direct promotional marketing.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines in this respect.

Brand stretching/trademark diversification

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Non-tobacco products or services using tobacco brand names or carrying a brand logo or other brand indicia (brand stretching)

Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act restricts, but does not prohibit, brand stretching. Tobacco product brand elements may be displayed on tobacco accessories (a product that may be used in the consumption of a tobacco product, including a pipe, cigarette, holder, cigar clip, lighter, and matches). Tobacco brand elements may also be displayed on products or used with services, except for products and services associated with or appealing to young people or products and services “associated with a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.”

Products that contain tobacco brand elements may be promoted in the same manner in which tobacco products may be promoted, specifically through mail addressed to an adult identified by name and at places where people under 18 years of age are not allowed.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, including brand stretching, to the extent allowed by the Canadian Constitution.

Reverse brand stretching or brand sharing

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Tobacco products or services using non-tobacco brand names (reverse brand stretching or brand sharing)

Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act contains partial restrictions on reverse brand stretching. Reverse brand stretching is prohibited if the non-tobacco product or service is associated with young persons or is appealing to youth, or is “associated with a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.”

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, there should be a comprehensive ban on all domestic and cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, to the extent allowed by the Canadian Constitution.

Toys that resemble tobacco products

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act does not address the sale of toys or candy that resemble tobacco products. Because the definition of promotion encompasses “recommendations” and “communication of information” about tobacco products, the sale of toys and candy resembling tobacco products does not fall within the definition of “promotion.” Therefore the law is interpreted as allowing the sale of toys and candy that resemble tobacco products.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit the sale of toys and candy resembling tobacco products.

Candy that resembles tobacco products

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act does not address the sale of toys or candy that resemble tobacco products. Because the definition of promotion encompasses “recommendations” and “communication of information” about tobacco products, the sale of toys and candy resembling tobacco products does not fall within the definition of “promotion.” Therefore the law is interpreted as allowing the sale of toys and candy that resemble tobacco products.

Two territories have prohibited the sale of candy that resembles a tobacco product.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit the sale of toys and candy resembling tobacco products.

Retailer incentive programs

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
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Retailer incentive programs (e.g., rewards to retailers for achieving certain sales volume, enhanced displays, etc.) or other payments to encourage them to sell tobacco products

Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act specifically exempts promotions within the tobacco trade (Sec. 18(2)(c)). Thus, retailer incentive programs are allowed.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, there should be a comprehensive ban on all domestic and cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, to the extent allowed by the Canadian Constitution. In addition, a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion” should be provided in accordance with the definition provided in FCTC Art. 1(c).

Paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film or other media

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act does not specifically address “paid placement” of tobacco products in TV, film, and other media. However, the Act prohibits the use of “testimonials” and “endorsements” to promote tobacco products. The Act provides that the depiction of a person is considered to be a testimonial or endorsement. Therefore, if the paid placement of the tobacco product involves the depiction of a person smoking or displaying a tobacco product in a TV show, film, or other media, this would be prohibited under the Act.

Moreover, the Act contains a prohibition on promotion of tobacco products subject to specific, limited exemptions, but there is no exemption for paid placement; therefore, on this basis as well, paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film or other media is prohibited.

This provision aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines.

Unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in media that does not serve a legitimate purpose

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
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Unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in TV, film or other media that is not legitimate journalistic, artistic, or academic expression or legitimate social or political commentary

Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act explicitly permits the depiction or use of a tobacco product or a tobacco product-related brand element in artistic, literary, dramatic, and other work, production or performances, if no consideration is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should specifically address unpaid placement in accordance with FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines paras. 29-32.

Tobacco industry sponsorship of events, activities, individuals, organizations or governments

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry to events, activities, individuals or groups (e.g., groups involved in sports, the arts, politics, charitable or welfare, or other activities, or youth smoking prevention programs)

Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act regulates the publicity of contributions, not the contributions themselves. Therefore, only publicized contributions are prohibited, while non-publicized contributions are permitted even if they promote a tobacco product or tobacco use. For example, tobacco donations to “corporate social responsibility” programs or youth smoking prevention programs would be permitted (as long as there is no associated publicity).

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all contributions that have the aim, effect, or likely effect of promoting a tobacco product or tobacco use, directly or indirectly.

Publicity of financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry if tobacco sponsorship is not banned

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act prohibits displaying “a tobacco product-related brand element or the name of a tobacco product manufacturer in a manner that is likely to create an association between the brand element or the name and a person, entity, event, activity or permanent facility.” The display ban also prohibits using tobacco-related names for permanent facilities if it would thereby associate a sports or cultural event or activity with tobacco.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to publicity of tobacco sponsorship. For better clarity, the law should prohibit all contributions that have the aim, effect, or likely effect of promoting a tobacco product or tobacco use directly or indirectly.

Promotion by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Promotion by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about a product's characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions (covering any term, descriptor, trademark, emblem, marketing image, logo, color and figurative, or any other indicia)

Analysis:

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act prohibits promotion, including by means of the packaging, in a manner that is false, misleading, or deceptive or that are likely to create an erroneous impression about the characteristics, health effects, or health hazards of a tobacco product or its emissions. This provision aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines.

In addition to prohibition under the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, the Promotion of Tobacco Products and Accessories Regulations prohibit the use of the terms “light” or “mild” and any variations thereof, including the addition of any modifiers to those terms, such as “extra” or “ultra.” The use of these terms is prohibited in several ways: in all promotion of tobacco products or accessories displaying a “brand element” (Sec. 3); in any advertisements of tobacco products (Sec. 4); on product packaging (Sec. 5); in the sale of accessories (Sec. 6); and in the retail display of products of products or accessories (Sec. 7).