Cigarettes sold in Canada will be mandatorily printed on the harmful effects of smoking on every cigarette in a pack, the Canadian Ministry of Health said on Wednesday. This is the first such solution in the world.
– Tobacco use kills 48,000 Canadians every year. We are taking action and will be the first country in the world to label every cigarette with a warning,” said Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett.
There will be six types of warnings on cigarettes, about tobacco harm to internal organs, cancer, impotence, leukemia, harm to children and “poison in every puff”.
The new rules will come into force from August 1 and will be introduced gradually until the end of April 2025. As emphasized in the communication, “it will be impossible to avoid warnings”. Other changes – these are new photos showing the harmfulness of smoking, which will be on packs of cigarettes and other tobacco products by the end of April 2024.
High medical costs for smokers
According to estimates by the Canadian Ministry of Health, the health care and economic costs associated with tobacco use amounted to C$12.3 billion in 2017, half of which were public health costs.
Previous solutions required e.g. standardization of packaging, as in many countries around the world, e.g. in France (since 2017), Australia (since 2012), Ireland, Norway and New Zealand (from 2022). At that time, reference was made to to scientific studies showing that plain and standardized packaging reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products, especially among young people.
For now, it is not known how Indians on reservations will adapt to the new regulations, where different rules for selling cigarettes apply. Indians have their own brands of tobacco products, and a pack of cigarettes costs less than C$3, several times less than excise cigarettes. The sale of such cigarettes, excise free, is only legal on reservations, however, many illegal urban suppliers purchase large quantities of cigarettes on reservations and sell them at a slightly higher price.
Canada fights tobacco sales
The goal of the federal government is to ensure that in 2035 no more than 5 percent of the population smokes. adult Canadians. According to statistical data, in 2017, 18 percent. of Canadians over the age of 15 reported smoking cigarettes in the past month.
In early March 2019, the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld a 2015 ruling that three companies: Imperial Tobacco Canada, JTI-Macdonald Corp and Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. were to pay nearly 14 billion Canadian dollars in compensation to smokers in Quebec who contracted cancer between 1950 and 1998 and were involved in a class action lawsuit against cigarette manufacturers.
In the course of this investigation, a number of internal documents were revealed, such as those in which the tobacco industry indicated its intention to seek ways to encourage young people to smoke. The 1976 document considered, for example, the possibility of developing cigarettes “that would not need to be lit with a lighter and would not leave cigarette butts”. There were also plans to start trials against journalists.
Main photo source: Shutterstock