Cigarette sales

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: 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.

Figure 3.1 Data Table with 95% Confidence Intervals

Figure 3.1: Cigarette sales, Canada, 2001-2021
Year Sales
2001 42,087,329,210
2002 37,627,491,460
2003 35,634,281,159
2004 34,289,181,086
2005 32,970,621,643
2006 30,217,394,914
2007 28,704,713,382
2008 27,573,569,888
2009 28,640,322,910
2010 31,653,625,884
2011 31,178,012,116
2012 31,347,437,105
2013 31,467,896,967
2014 29,467,902,653
2015 29,032,568,898
2016 28,642,383,251
2017 27,110,716,886
2018 25,838,401,275
2019 23,895,350,226
2020 23,126,861,524
2021 20,906,599,707

Data Source: Health Canada, 2022 (as reported by tobacco companies under Tobacco Reporting Regulations, Section 13).
NOTES: total sales not adjusted for population SIZE (i.e., not “per capita”).
These data are subject to ongoing revision due to re-submissions by tobacco companies and/or audits by Health Canada.

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.

Figure 3.2 Data Table with 95% Confidence Intervals

Figure 3.2: Cigarette sales, by province/territory, 2021
Province Cigarette Sales
ON 7,418,770,614
PQ 5,868,199,002
AB 2,379,100,935
BC 2,099,234,107
SK 783,570,804
NS 744,132,990
MB 661,342,135
NB 464,636,285
NL 355,206,760
PEI/NWT/NU/YT 132,406,075

Data Source: Health Canada, 2022 (as reported by tobacco companies under Tobacco Reporting Regulations); see notes above
Additional notes that Health Canada advises considering when using these data.

  • Sales represent shipments to wholesalers or retailers in a province/territory. Sales totals may not be representative of tobacco consumption for that province/territory.
  • In certain cases, provincial/territorial sales were not reportable due to a limited number of companies active in that market. In these cases, the data were merged into a larger geographical grouping.

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.

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