The Government of Canada is proposing to update the health-related messages and images printed on packages of cigarettes and other tobacco products to ensure that people are informed about the health risks of tobacco use.
Despite decades of attempts, tobacco use remains the biggest preventable cause of illness and premature death in Canada, killing over 48,000 people each year. The present tobacco product warnings have gone old for the 13% of Canadians who smoke and come across them on a regular basis.
Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health announced the start of a 75-day public consultation session on June 11 to gather information from Canadians to help draught new proposed tobacco labeling legislation.
The provision of written health warnings printed on individual cigarettes, cigars with a filter, and cigarette tubes is a crucial aspect of the proposed legislation.
This new packaging would make it easier for health-related messaging to reach people who, like youth and young adults, frequently access cigarettes one at a time in social contexts. It would be nearly impossible to circumvent health warnings entirely if the tipping paper of cigarettes and other tobacco products were to be labeled. If implemented, Canada would be the first country in the world to introduce such a requirement.
Among other things, the proposed regulations would update current health-related statements, expand messaging obligations to all tobacco product packages, and adopt periodic message rotation. Tobacco product health warnings and health information messages would include an expanded list of health dangers and negative health impacts, such as stomach cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and cervical cancer.
Furthermore, the proposed restrictions would help Canada's Tobacco Strategy by preventing long-term tobacco dependency, reducing tobacco-related death and disease, and lowering the burden on the health-care system and society in Canada.
Source: Health Canada