LANGUAGE
Last updated: September 17th 2019

Health Warnings/Messages Features

Type of product: Smoked Tobacco Product
Type of Warnings / Messages Required
Pictures (Photos), Text Warnings/Messages
Location and Size of Warnings / Messages on Unit Packaging
75% of front, 75% of back, Other (e.g., inserts, onserts, on the tobacco product, itself)
Rotation Required
Required
Number of Warnings / Messages Authorized to Be Displayed at Any Given Time
16
Length of Rotation Period
Unspecified
Analysis

Packages of smoked tobacco products must depict up to three types of labeling: health warnings, health information, and toxic emissions. Packages of all smoked tobacco products must contain health warnings. Packages of most smoked tobacco products must also contain health information and toxic emissions.

1) Health Warnings: For cigarettes and little cigars, one of 16 health warnings must occupy at least 75% of each of the two principal display areas (front and back), with English on one side and French on the other.  The principal display areas of various types of packages (e.g., slide and shell package, two-sided package, cylindrical packages) are set forth in Schedule 1 of the Tobacco Products Labelling Regulations (Cigarettes and Little Cigars).  The contents of the health warnings for cigarettes are set forth in Part 1 of Division A of the 2011 source document, and the contents for little cigars are set forth in Part 1 of Division B of the 2011 source document.

For cigarette tobacco, kreteks, and leaf tobacco, health warnings must cover 50 percent of the principal display areas and must be displayed in English on one side and in French on the other side. The health warnings are set out in Part 1 of the source document.

For bidis, one of four text health warnings (no pictures) must be displayed, occupying 50% of the principal display areas. (See Tobacco Products Information Regulations, Sec. 5(4).)

For pipe tobacco (except pipe tobacco in pouches), one of four warnings from Part 2 of the source document must be displayed occupying at least the top 50% of the principal display areas (front and back), with English on one side and French on the other.

For pipe tobacco in pouches, cigar boxes, and cigar bundles, one of four bilingual warnings from Part 3 of the source document must be used.

For pipe tobacco in pouches and cigar boxes, a bilingual warning label must appear on one side, and must be at least 20 cm2 if the display surface is less than or equal to 149 cm2, and at least 40 cm2 if the display surface is greater than 149 cm2.

For cigar bundles, a bilingual warning label must be at least 40 cm2 and be placed anywhere on the bundle, other than the top and bottom surfaces.

Health warnings must be displayed concurrently on each brand over the course of a year.

2) Health Information: Packages of cigarettes and little cigars must contain one of 16 “health information” messages on an insert of approximately 50mm X 88mm or, in the case of slide and shell packages without a lateral side, the health information message must appear either on the upper slide-flap and the exterior surface of the slide portion of the package or on a leaflet inserted into the package.  Leaflet inserts are not required in cylindrical packages, soft packages, two-sided packages, three-sided packages, or cartons (other than cartons containing soft packages, for which leaflets are required). 

Cigarette tobacco (except cigarette tobacco in pouches), kreteks, leaf tobacco, and tobacco sticks must contain one of 16 “health information” messages either anywhere on the package other than the principal display surface or the bottom, or on an insert of approximately 50mm X 88mm or, in the case of slide and shell packages, on the slide portion of the package.

3) Toxic Emissions: Smoked tobacco products are no longer required to bear quantitative emission yields.  Instead, all packages must include a qualitative statement about toxic constituents.  Schedule 2 of the Tobacco Products Labelling Regulations (Cigarettes and Little Cigars) identifies the display area of packages of cigarettes and little cigars on which the toxic emissions statement must be printed. 

These provisions substantially align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines. However, there may be instances with cigars and pipe tobacco where the health warnings do not occupy 30% of the display area because a specified size is mandated rather than a percentage, and moreover are required to appear on only one principal display surface. In addition, the regulations should mandate pictorial warnings for bidis, as they do for other tobacco products.

Type of product: Smokeless Tobacco Products
Type of Warnings / Messages Required
Text Warnings/Messages
Location and Size of Warnings / Messages on Unit Packaging
50% of front, 50% of back, Side(s), Other (e.g., inserts, onserts, on the tobacco product, itself)
Rotation Required
Required
Number of Warnings / Messages Authorized to Be Displayed at Any Given Time
4
Length of Rotation Period
Unspecified
Analysis

Health warnings on smokeless tobacco products must occupy 50% of the principal display areas. The regulations specify four text warnings for chewing tobacco and oral snuff (Tobacco Products Information Regulations (TPI Regs.), Sec. 5(5)) and four text warnings for nasal snuff (TPI Regs., Sec. 5(6)). Health warnings must be displayed concurrently on each brand over the course of a year. Toxic constituents amounts must be displayed on packages of chewing tobacco and snuff either on a side where there is no health warning, or on the package bottom. The information must occupy at least 50% of the bottom/side.

These provisions align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines in that they require warnings that occupy 50% of the display areas. However, the regulations should mandate pictorial warnings for all smokeless tobacco products, as they do for smoked tobacco products other than bidis.