A tobacco manufacturer is a person who:

  • manufactures, fabricates or produces tobacco products for distribution, sale or storage in Ontario; and
  • holds a manufacturer’s registration certificate under the Tobacco Tax Act

The SFOA, 2017 prohibits the display and promotion of tobacco products and tobacco product accessories associated with a brand of tobacco, at any place where tobacco products or tobacco product accessories are sold.

A manufacturer of tobacco products may be exempt from the display and promotion restrictions set out in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA, 2017) subject to the following conditions:

  1. The manufacturer must be registered with the Ministry of Health.
  2. The manufacturer shall not permit a person who is less than 19 years old to enter the place other than an employee of the manufacturer or a support person accompanying a person with a disability who is at least 19 years old.
  3. Promotions, tobacco and branded tobacco product accessories are not visible from outside the place.
  4. Customers can enter the place only from the outdoors or from the areas of an enclosed shopping mall that are:
    1. open to the public
    2. common to most of the retail establishments or other businesses within the mall
    3. not part of a retail establishment or other business within the mall
  5. The place cannot be a thoroughfare (e.g., passageway).

A manufacturer that fails to meet these conditions no longer has the benefit of the exemption, and must comply with the prohibition on display and promotion.

For greater clarity, a person who manufactures an electronic cigarette for use with a tobacco product (e.g., Heat-Not-Burn devices), but that is packaged without a tobacco product, is permitted to display and promote the electronic cigarette.

“No Smoking” and “No Vaping” signs, or a dual “No Smoking and No Vaping” sign must be posted at all entrances, exits and washrooms, in appropriate locations and in sufficient numbers, so that everyone knows that smoking and vaping is not permitted inside the manufacturer’s facility.

A manufacturer of tobacco products can register with the Ministry of Health by sending an email to SFOApplications@ontario.ca.


There are several penalties that a manufacturer could face for violating the SFOA, 2017. Manufacturers are advised to review the SFOA, 2017 to understand their responsibilities, and the fines that may result from failing to comply.

Print the Tobacco Manufacturers Fact Sheet.