Plain Packaging is Coming 20

On May 16 2018 parliament passed Bill S-5 which gives Health Canada the authority to implement plain packaging on premium tobacco products.  This means saying goodbye to the beautiful holograms of Cohiba and beautifully hand-drawn artwork of many other brands.  The ornate designs that have graced boxes and singles for over a hundred years will be replaced with plain olive green packaging with nothing more than the name of the cigar printed on it.

Australia has been doing this since December 1 2012.  Their branding guide goes into extreme details about how large the font size can be for the name, variant, and country of origin – “no larger than 10 points Lucida Sans on Pantone 448C” in case you were wondering.  No more will you be lured in by those sultry bright colours and fancy swirls like a Bird of Paradise calling its potential mate.  No more!

What about verifying authenticity of cigars? In a country very concerned with grey-market tobacco, how do you, the buyer, verify your purchase?  What will happen to all those “real of fake” posts on the forums and Facebook groups? How do we the seller ensure that what we’re getting is legitimate? While the government tries to nail down one issue (public health) it opens the doors to another issue that they’ve fought for decades to contain.

Additionally, who will do all that work to re-band every cigar and box?  The distributors are already charged with adding a variety of stickers to cigar packaging.  This will ultimately end in an increase in supply cost – which I suppose will also make the government happy.

The law isn’t final yet!  It still needs to be approved through the Governor General before becoming law at which point it will take effect 180 days after finalization.  You could try writing a letter to the queen to get her thoughts?

Update: Wondering how you can help? Sign the petition against plain cigar packaging.

What are your thoughts on this?

– David


  1. Dear Cigarchief,

    The proposed plain packaging of all cigars is an ill-advised poorly thought out idea. You have clearly described in your article above the disadvantages to the consumer of doing away with manufacturer’s branding – colourful, pleasant, helpful, proof of provenance, etc.

    This proposal must be stopped before it becomes law!


    Richard Chartrand
  2. The Nanny State strikes again. Unbelievable.

  3. Everything short of banning cigars all together!

  4. This is insanity!!!! Bureaucrats and the special interest groups on the left that hide under a so called ‘progressive’ banner are totalitarian in their push towards a dictatorial socialist nanny state. They want people ignorant, scared, controlled, dependent, and subservient to the state. They will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Micromanaging our lives is all part of their plan. People need to wake up and push back if they want to live as a ‘free people’.

  5. We are always trying to discourage people from smoking tobacco products, but at the same time we are legalizing marijuana and saying it is OK to purchase and smoke it. I am baffled at the difference in tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol, in the eyes of the government.

    Mike Bauer
  6. Ridiculous and stupid. I guess we are not mature enough so our government has to show us better.


    1. Nice sdvc244, that’s really helpful.

  8. Just another reason to vote them out next election

    Peter Huff
  9. Consumers are going to buy what they want, when they want, regardless of how it is packaged. This is just a total waste of time and money!!

  10. I am all for it, I am so sick of kids asking me to buy expensive cigars for them. Crazy youth. Also, why would I want to easily identify fakes by their band?

  11. OMG!! Well, I guess my cigar box guitar business will suffer….That sucks.

  12. Once again, the government proving they are out of touch with reality. trying to discourage people from buying something that they make a ridiculous amount of tax revenue from….OR…is this to discourage kids from smoking. OH! WAIT. THAT’S right, They’ll make even MORE in tax revenue when marijuana is legalized….and kids are buying it!!!

  13. So I’m thinking we better start doing this for Wine sales and other alcohol products… don’t want to give the wrong impression… 🙄Hell, even milk is bad for you! WTF are the morons thinking!!! This is not a dictatorship! The pot guys got their 420, us cigar connoisseurs need to start to tally the troops and fight back against this bull shit!

  14. Justin Trudeau is a “Male Bimbo”…this is just more proof
    If he’s not voted out in the next election…Canada will never be able to recover
    & damn do I miss Stephen Harper

    Bobby Levit
  15. Question…what is going to happen when we leagally buy our 50 cigars while on vacation in Cuba or the USA. Are the Canadian customs going to confiscate them on our return trip and say that they don’t conform to Canadian law????

    1. That is a very interesting question. I personally can’t see this as being an issue. The law will most likely be written concerning “products sold in Canada.” This is not legal advice – but a hunch.

  16. An election is coming in 2019. Vote out Trudeau’s Socialist/Liberals with a huge Conservative majority, just like we just did in Ontario

  17. Maybe they can just wrap the boxes in plain wraping paper too get around this?

  18. What is next? Maybe they will force producers to adulterate tobacco with stuff that makes it virtually impossible to smoke. What about doing that for the packaging for high sugar content and high fat content foods. I had better not say that too loudly: they might be listening.
    Once again, the government imposes regulations and controls to take away our liberty and choices in life. Here is another one. The Alberta government makes it illegal for me to order tobacco products from other provinces through the mail. Even if I purchase it personally in another province, I can only bring back so a limited amount even if it is for my own consumption. I enjoy the odd small cigar as a treat once in a while but am forced to pay higher prices in my province. So much for freedom, capitalism and liberty.

    James Stork

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