Plain Packaging Cigars: What You Need to Know
The Government of Canada has recently put into effect a law that requires all cigars to be put into plain packaging. You’ve seen plain packaging with cigarettes for years, but as of November 9, 2020, it applies to cigars as well. And retailers throughout Canada only have until May 8, 2021 to comply with the new legislation.
What is Plain Packaging?
Plain packaging is a generic and standardized packaging that is devoid of branding. The plain packaging will include only the brand name of the cigar, health warnings and other legally required information.
Generic packaging, however, does not mean you are getting generic cigars. If you order a Cuban cigar, you will be getting an authentic Cuban cigar.
Obviously, plain packaging is going to be an adjustment and that’s why we’ve put together this guide.
We want our customers—and cigar smokers from around the country—to understand what they can expect from these regulations.
Keep reading to learn more.
What Does Plain Packaging Look Like?
What Products Does Plain Packaging Apply To?
Plain packaging apples to boxes, singles and tubos cigars. In fact, it applies to all tobacco products intended for sale in Canada, including (as defined by the Government of Canada), “duty-free shops, trans-border stores, ships’ stores, and to Canadian tobacco products sold in duty-free stores.”
What Does Plain Packaging Mean for Cigar Chief Customers?
It means when you order from us you may be receiving plain packaged cigars, depending on our current inventory. You will not be able to specify whether you want it or not.
Who Has to Follow Plain Packaging Legislation?
Every retailer in Canada. Plain packaging is not something specific to us—every retailer selling cigars has to follow this legislation now.
Possible Guarantee Complications—And What We’re Doing About Them
Our plain packaging law is specific to Canada. As such, official Habanos manufacturers are not set up for verifying their product with new Canadian barcode stamps instead of the traditional cuban stamps.
We still 100% guarantee our cuban cigars authenticity. We are currently working to resolve serial number verification with Habanos S.A. but please note that you may not be able to verify your product’s serial number in the meantime.
The Big Concerns with Plain Packaging
Cost. Cigars are actually more expensive with plain packaging as manufacturers need to design and print separate packaging just for Canada. This cost gets passed down the supply chain to distributors and customers.
Availability. Because of the specifics needed just for Canada. Which is a small market for cigars worldwide. Some cigar companies will choose not to distribute to Canada as it may not be profitable for them.
Verifying Authenticity. As already mentioned, manufacturers are not set to verify the cigars authenticity at the moment. We are working to change this.
While the reality of plain packaging is hitting as an immediate and new development, the legislation has been in the works since 2018, when Bill S-5 was passed. Unfortunately, back then we could not have foreseen some of the complications that would arise now, but the good news is none of these challenges are insurmountable. At Cigar Chief, we’re doing everything we can to streamline the transition and bring about a speedy resolution of any issues.
Statement from Havana House
Havana House is Canada’s official importer of authentic Cuban cigars. They have released their statement on the Plain Packaging situation in Canada, echoing many of the same sentiments & concerns of ours.