Online vs Store Purchasing of Cigarettes in Canada

Waseem Jalal

When it comes to purchasing cigarettes in Canada, you have two main options: buying them in-store or ordering them online. While both options have their pros and cons, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. In this blog, we’ll discuss the key differences between online and in-store purchases of canadian cigarettes, so that you can make an informed decision.

Price Comparison 

One of the most significant factors to consider when deciding between buying your cigarettes online or in-store is the cost. With the high taxes that come with purchasing cigarettes in Canada, online shops often offer lower prices than traditional brick and mortar stores. However, it’s essential to note that the cost of shipping and handling fees may add up, especially for those who don’t buy in bulk. In contrast, in-store purchases eliminate the shipping fees, making it a more cost-effective option for those who don’t smoke as much. It’s critical to weigh in the costs before deciding which method is best for you.


Another factor to consider when deciding between online and in-store purchases of cigarettes in Canada is the convenience factor. With online shopping, it’s easy to browse and place an order in the comfort of your home, no matter the time of day. Plus, for those who might live in rural areas, ordering online provides wider access to brands that might not be available in their area. On the other hand, a trip to the store can give smokers the chance to browse different brands before purchasing, avoid delivery delays, and potentially save shipping costs.

Age Verification

Before making a purchase of cigarettes, minors are strictly prohibited by the law in Canada. When it comes to purchasing cigarettes in-store, age verification is done in-person, which makes it less likely for a minor to buy cigarettes. It’s harder for minors to order cigarettes online since the law requires age verification done electronically, but with fake identification being commonplace, some minors might still manage to purchase cigarettes online. So it’s better to purchase cigarettes from a brick and mortar store to protect our minors’ welfare and keep them away from tobacco products.

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Product Authenticity

When purchasing cigarettes, it’s essential to get products that are authentic and free from counterfeits. Most online stores promise to deliver top-quality authentic brands, but there might be instances when customers receive counterfeit products, which could harm the consumer’s health. On the other hand, when buying cigarettes in-store, it’s possible to visually identify if the products are fake or not, eliminating the risk of getting substandard brands that could harm your health.

Canada has been known for its strict regulations on tobacco products for many years. Smoking in public places has been banned since the early 2000s and there are even some areas with additional bans. However many smokers still smoke and need to purchase cigarettes. Therefore, the question of whether it’s better to purchase cigarettes online or at stores is one that has been on the minds of many Canadians. In this article, we will delve into the pros and cons of each purchasing method to help you make an informed decision.

Shopping Convenience: 

When it comes to shopping convenience, online cigarette purchasing is superior. Online retailers have 24/7 services and allow customers to shop from anywhere in Canada. Online cigarette shopping saves you from the hassle of stepping outside and standing in a queue. In contrast, buying from a store is more time-consuming and can be inconvenient for those who do not have stores nearby. The store hours may also be restricted or may not even be the same as your own. 

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Selection Variety: 

When it comes to the variety of cigarette selections, there is no competition between the two. Online shopping provides access to a vast variety of cigarettes that may not be readily available in stores. This is because online vendors have access to a global market and are not restricted by land distance. Conversely, physical stores have fewer options available, and smokers may have to go to several stores in search of their preferred brand.

Age Restrictions: 

Online vendors are required to verify the age of their customers before selling cigarettes, which makes it a safer option. This makes it harder for underage individuals to gain access to tobacco products. Physical stores, on the other hand, may not always be so thorough in verifying the age of their customers, making it easier for underage individuals to buy cigarettes in-store.


When it comes to pricing, there is no clear winner. Online deals offer cheaper prices, as there are fewer overhead costs and competition between vendors allows for better deals. In contrast, fuel prices can make in-store purchasing costly, especially for those who have to travel far to buy cigarettes. Store cigarettes are subject to taxes, legal fees, and other fees, which results in an increase in prices. Both methods have their own pricing advantages and limitations.


Most online vendors are legal and licensed. However, there exist a few illegitimate companies that sell cigarettes. Hence, it is important to research the vendor before making any purchase. Whereas in-store purchasing is a safer option due to legitimacy. All stores must adhere to federal and provincial regulations regarding the sale of tobacco products. With that said, most online vendors are legitimate and function in accordance with all laws and regulations.

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In conclusion, when it comes to purchasing cigarettes in Canada, it’s essential to weigh in the pros and cons of online and in-store options. While buying cigarettes online is becoming more accessible and convenient due to the current global pandemic situation, there are still some drawbacks one must consider. Still, purchasing cigarettes from a brick and mortar store might limit the choices available and some of the negative adverse health effects of cigarette smoke. Ultimately, your decision to either purchase cigarettes online or in-store will be based on your preferences, lifestyle and will depend on which option suits you best.

There is no straightforward winner when it comes to online versus in-store cigarette purchasing. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Online cigarette shopping is more convenient but can have restrictions on the variety and delivery time. Physical store shopping takes more time but offers a more straightforward engagement and buying experience. Both options carry complaints and type of customer. Smokers who have more time to shop and know what they want may opt for in-store purchasing. On the other hand, those with less time and who want an easy delivery process may prefer an online option. Whatever, the preference, there are options available to meet individual needs.

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