Talk to your kids

About the risk of tobacco

You already know it's important to inform your child of the health dangers of smoking. Tobacco is considered an addictive substance and use increases risk of certain cancers. Despite the fact that many parents do an excellent job of warning their children of these dangers, 1 in 10 children under the age of 17 are smokers. All of these children have been supplied tobacco illegally.

So, what do you and your child need to know?

$10,000 Fine

According to the Tobacco Tax Act, it is illegal to buy, possess, or distribute tobacco products to any person under the age of 19 years old. Even on the first offense, one may be charged up to $10,000 for neglecting this law.

Tobacco products include:



Chewing tobacco


It is important to educate your child about the consequences of breaking this law. It is also important to ensure your child understands the difference between legal tobacco and contraband tobacco – and that the consequences of underage purchase or use are the same for both products.

Contraband cigarettes are illegally produced. Despite their low price, the cost of purchasing these products is tremendous. The profits generated from contraband tobacco may fuel criminal activity, including trafficking of drugs, purchasing illegal weapons and funding other illicit activities. The availability of contraband tobacco undermines the government's efforts in reducing smoking rates and protecting children and youth from the dangers of smoking.

Under the Tobacco Tax Act, unless otherwise authorized, it is illegal to buy, possess or distribute any quantity of untaxed or unregulated cigarettes or other tobacco products.

No matter what kind of tobacco your child is exposed to, the consequences of breaking the Tobacco Tax Act are not worth the risk.