Total sales

Since 2001, tobacco companies have been required by the Tobacco Reporting Regulations to provide Health Canada with reports on sales of tobacco products. Health Canada has released this sales data, which represent “shipments from tobacco companies in a province or territory, but do not include estimates of illicit tobacco sales.”iii These data are outlined below, and available in full at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/healthy-living/federal-provincial-territorial-tobacco-sales-data/page-2.html and from Health Canada.

In 2021, cigarette sales in Canada totaled nearly 21 billion sticks (20,906,599,707), down from over 42 billion in 2001. Figure 3.1 shows total cigarette sales for Canada, from 2001-2021. Total sales generally declined until 2008, when sales increased for a couple of years before leveling off, and then again declining in recent years. These overall sales figures do not take into account population size; on a per capita basis, sales have continued to decline over this time, as population grew from approximately 31 million in 2001iv to nearly 37 million in 2021.v

Line graph showing cigarette sales in Canada from 2001 to 2021. Trends described in text. Data table below with 95% confidence intervals.

Sales by province/territory

Figure 3.2 shows sales data for 2021 by province/territory. Again, this does not adjust for population size, but represents the size of the cigarette market in each province/territory. Ontario has the highest cigarette sales, at more than 7.4 billion cigarettes, followed by Quebec with nearly 5.9 billion, and Alberta with nearly 2.4 billion.

Bar chart showing cigarette sales by province/territory in 2021. Trends described in text. Data table below with 95% confidence intervals.

Table 3.1 shows yearly cigarette sales by province/territory from 2001 to 2021. Overall, sales have decreased during this time in all provinces/territories.

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Download Table 3.1 cigarette sales (in thousands), by province/territory, 2001-2021 (.xlsx)