Tobacco control Act

Changes to the Tobacco Act were enacted on November 26, 2015. Changes include a new name for the Act, which is now called the Tobacco Control Act. This Act aims to:

  • Protect young people and prevent them from taking up tobacco
  • Protect the public from the dangers of second-hand smoke
  • Encourage quitting smoking

Hereinafter, “the Act” refers to the Tobacco Control Act.

Amendments to the Act include various components:

  • Increased fines for offences
  • The use of tobacco in certain places
  • Framework for the electronic cigarettes
  • The sale of tobacco
  • The promotion and advertising of tobacco products
  • The ban on tobacco products with aromas and flavours other than those of tobacco
  • Regulations regarding packaging and health warnings displayed on packages of cigarettes and small cigars.

Some of the new legislative provisions came into effect when the Act was passed on November 26, 2015. Other measures will come into effect in the coming months.

Measures that came into effect on November 26, 2015

  • Electronic cigarettes and all other similar devices, including their components and accessories, are now subject to the same regulations as tobacco products.

    This measure implies that:

    • The sale of these products is strictly regulated
    • It is forbidden to use an electronic cigarette in all places where smoking is prohibited:
      • In enclosed public places
      • In work environments
      • In all outdoor places prohibited by the Act

    However, the ban on aromas or flavours other than those of tobacco does not apply to electronic cigarettes or associated accessories, such as liquids.

  • Fines for various offences under the Act have been increased. For example, someone who smokes in a prohibited place will now receive a fine between $250 and $750. For further details, consult the list of offences and fines.
  • Minors are prohibited from purchasing tobacco.
  • All persons wishing to purchase tobacco or enter a cigar lounge or specialty retail outlet are obliged to prove their age when asked by the business owner or attendant. An identification card with photograph issued by a government, ministry or public organization must be shown.
  • The number of places where it is possible to install a smoking room has been increased. For example, it is now possible to install a smoking room in a residential building that has 2 or more units.

Measures that came into effect on May 26, 2016

In addition to existing bans, smoking is prohibited:

  • In vehicles carrying persons less than 16 years of age
  • In the public spaces of residential buildings that have 2 to 5 units
  • On the commercial terraces, including those of restaurants and bars
  • In outdoor parks for children
  • On sports fields and playgrounds
  • On the grounds of summer camps
  • At all times on the grounds of:
    • Daycare centres
    • Educational institutions:
      • Preschool
      • Primary school
      • Secondary school, including adult-education centres and vocational-training centres

Bans on tobacco products with aromas and flavours other than those of tobacco

  • Manufacturers and distributors are prohibited from selling, offering for sale or distributing tobacco products with aromas and flavours other than those of tobacco.

Measure that came into effect on August 26, 2016

  • Tobacco shops are prohibited from selling tobacco products with aromas and flavours other than those of tobacco.

Measures that came into effect on November 26, 2016

  • Adults are prohibited from purchasing tobacco for minors.
  • Smoking is prohibited within a 9-metre radius:
    • Of every door and window that opens
    • Of air intakes connected to an enclosed place where smoking is prohibited

    However, if the 9-metre radius anywhere extends beyond the boundaries of the grounds on which the place is situated, the restriction applies up to that limit. For example, the smoking ban does not apply if an establishment’s door or window gives onto a municipal sidewalk.

Offences and fines

Fines for the various offences under the Act have increased. The following table shows public offences punishable by a fine as well as the difference between penalties imposed since 2005 and those imposed from November 26, 2015.


Fines in effect before November 26, 2015

Fines in effect starting November 26, 2015

Smoking in a prohibited place

$50 to $300

Repeat offence: $100 to $600

$250 to $750

Repeat offence: $500 to $1,500

For minors:

  • Purchasing tobacco for yourself or someone else
  • Lying about your age in order to purchase tobacco

Not applicable


For adults: Purchasing tobacco for a minor

Not applicable

$500 to $1,500

Repeat offence: $1,000 to $3,000

Giving tobacco to a minor on the grounds and facilities or buildings used by a school

$100 to $300

Repeat offence: $200 to $600

$500 to $1,500

Repeat offence: $1,000 to $3,000

Removing, destroying or changing a display:

  • Stating it is prohibited to smoke in a particular place
  • Stating it is prohibited to sell tobacco to minors
  • Warning of the effects of tobacco

$100 to $1,000

Repeat offence: $200 to $3,000

$500 to $1,500


Repeat offence: $1,000 to $3,000

You may consult the original list of offences and fines in the Projet de loi no44 This hyperlink will open in a new window. (Bill 44 document – In French only) available on the National Assembly website.

For all questions regarding the Act to bolster tobacco control, consult the Contact Us This hyperlink will open in a new window. page.

Last update: March 14, 2019


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