Tobacco and the Law

Tobacco and the Law

Tobacco and Smoking Act

The Tobacco and Smoking Act (TSA) is the main law in Nunavut that tells us where tobacco, alternative products and cannabis can be used, who can buy it and restricts how retailers sell it.

  • Alternative products include vapes and other electronic cigarette devices.
  • It is meant to protect Nunavummiut from harmful second-hand smoke, promote the safety of children, youth, and pregnant women, and ensure that public places are smoke-free.

Under the TSA, it is against the law to:

  • Sell tobacco and alternative products to anyone under 19 years old.
  • Supply (give/trade) tobacco and alternative products to anyone under 19 years old.
  • Sell single cigarettes.
  • Sell tobacco products at retail where delivery of the product to buyers doesn't happen at the time of purchase and at a permanent physical retail store.
  • Sell via internet; home delivery of tobacco and alternative nicotine products are not allowed.
  • Sell alternative products with nicotine in a concentration that exceeds 20 milligrams per milliliter.
  • Sell tobacco products or engage to tobacco wholesale sales if you do not have a valid dealer registration or Tobacco Retailer Permit issued under the Nunavut Tobacco Tax Act by the Department of Finance.
  • Sell a tobacco and smoking product that is flavoured, or a product designed or advertised to be used to flavour tobacco and alternative products.
  • Smoke or vape within nine metres of any entrances or exit to a public building, workplaces, publicly funded housing and government staff housing, including the wheelchair ramps, walkways around the building, stairs, landings that lead to or from the building, windows or other openings, and air intakes.
  • Smoke in the designated smoke-free places and or within their buffer zone. Smoke-free places include the grounds of health centres, schools, daycares, playgrounds, a common area of an apartment building or condominium building, workplaces, public housing and government staff housing, and any other place accessible to the public or where one or more employees work.
  • Smoke in or on motor vehicles, ATVs, boats, snow mobiles, etc. when a minor is present.
  • Advertise and promote tobacco and smoking products in any place where tobacco and smoking products are sold.
  • Display signs indicating the availability or price of tobacco, or a smoking product at retail stores where minors have access.

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 and Vaping Products Act. The goal of the Canada's Tobacco Strategy is to help Canadians who smoke to quit or reduce the harms of their addiction to nicotine and to protect the health of young people and people who do not use tobacco from the dangers of tobacco use and nicotine addiction.

  • It mandates health warning labels on each cigarette, details how big these health warnings must be and puts restrictions on advertising tobacco products and vaping products.


Tobacco and Smoking Act

Tobacco and Smoking Regulations

Canada Tobacco and Vaping Products

Tobacco Enforcement and Compliance Program

The Tobacco Enforcement and Compliance Program ensures that all tobacco retailers in Nunavut are in compliance with the Nunavut Tobacco and Smoking Act (TSA) and its regulations.

The program involves two areas for action:

Education and Outreach:

All tobacco retailers in possession of a valid Tobacco Retailer Permit registered through the Department of Finance receive an education and outreach visit and a Tobacco Retailer Toolkit from an Enforcement Officer/Environmental Health Officer (EHO).

Tobacco Inspections:

Formalized tobacco inspections to ensure that tobacco retailers and their employees are in compliance with the TSA and the regulations.

This includes making sure that:

  • Employees are checking ID and not selling tobacco and alternative products to people younger than 19.
  • The store has a written tobacco policy, practices, and procedures in place to discourage and prevent the sale of tobacco and smoking products to minors.
  • All employees receive training and education before selling tobacco and alternative products.
  • Retailers have a mechanism to monitor their employees to ensure they are complying with both TSA and regulations and the retailer's policies.
  • Proper signage is in place.

Enforcement Officers/Environmental Health Officers:

Enforcement Officers/Environmental Health Officers’ roles include public education, conducting inspections of tobacco retailers to ensure compliance with the Tobacco and Smoking Act and its regulations, as well as responding to complaints from the public.

To report any violation of these new laws at your workplace, contact Workers Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) at 877-404-4407.

For violations in another smoke-free place or a buffer zone like in front of a store, school ground, or hospital ground, please contact the manager or the proprietor, as it is their responsibility to ensure that employees, patrons, or visitors are complying with the smoking laws.

To file a complaint regarding another tenant’s use of tobacco and/or vaping product or cannabis, you can do so by submitting a concern in writing to your Local Housing Organization and/or to the Regional Nunavut Housing Corporation office.

For any other inquiry reach out to the Department of Health - Tobacco and Cannabis Program at [email protected].