Tobacco & The Law

Tobacco & The Law

This section of the Tobacco Has No Place Here website will provide an overview of current and upcoming initiatives related to tobacco enforcement in Nunavut.

Tobacco Control Act

The main law in Nunavut that details who can buy tobacco, where it can be used, and places restrictions on how retailers must sell it, is called the Tobacco Control Act. This law has been in force since 2004 and is meant to protect the health and welfare of Nunavummiut. The law also helps to ensure that public places and workplaces are free from tobacco use. 

In addition to territorial laws, there are federal tobacco laws that impact tobacco use and sales in Nunavut. The main one is called the Canada Tobacco Act. This law has been in force since 2007, and it mandates health warnings on cigarette packaging, details how big these health warnings must be (75% of package), and puts restrictions on advertising tobacco products.

In Nunavut it is against the law for anyone to sell or give tobacco to a person who is less than 19 years old. Under the Nunavut Tobacco Control Act it is against the law to:

  • Sell tobacco products (including cigarettes) to anyone under 19 years old.

  • Supply (give/trade) tobacco products to anyone under 19 years old.

  • Sell single cigarettes.

  • Sell tobacco products if you do not have a Tobacco Retailer Permit.

Tobacco Enforcement

The Department of Health has reached out to Nunavummiut, including tobacco retailers, through public consultations to develop a Tobacco Enforcement Program for the Territory. Through this process, a variety of education materials have been created and reviewed by retailers. This includes the Nunavut Tobacco Retailer Toolkit that will help tobacco retailers better understand Nunavut’s Tobacco Control Act and assist them in making sure that their stores are compliant with the law. The Toolkit will be distributed to all tobacco retailers in Nunavut that have a Tobacco Retailer Permit.

Nicotine is addictive, especially for youth!

One of Tobacco Enforcement’s long term goals is to help reduce the number of youth who start smoking. Research finds that when tobacco is harder to get, fewer youth will use tobacco. That is why it is important to ensure that tobacco retailers are not selling tobacco to youth under 19 years. More facts below:

  • More youth get addicted when it is easy for them to get chew and cigarettes.

  • Studies have shown that nicotine can be harder to quit than heroin or cocaine.

  • Once hooked, a person will smoke for an average of 24 years!