Government of Canada proposes to print health warnings on individual cigarettes

Government of Canada proposes to print health warnings on individual cigarettes

Canada News Wire

OTTAWA, Ontario, June 10, 2022

Proposed measures aim to strengthen regulations on packaging and labeling of tobacco products

OTTAWA (ON), June 10, 2022 /CNW/ – Despite decades of effort, tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of illness and premature death in Canada. Canada, killing an estimated 48,000 Canadians each year. Although new and provocative when introduced more than a decade ago, current warnings on tobacco products have become outdated for the 13% of the population in Canada who smoke and see them regularly.

Recognizing that more needs to be done to protect the health of people in Canada and to ensure that people remain informed about the health risks associated with tobacco use, the Government of Canada proposes to update health-related messages and images printed on packages of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Today, the Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced the launch of a 75-day public comment period beginning on June 11 solicit feedback from people in Canada that will inform the development of proposed new tobacco labeling regulations.

A key feature of the proposed regulations is the introduction of written health warnings printed on individual cigarettes, filtered cigars and cigarette tubes.

This new packaging would help ensure that health-related messages reach people who often access cigarettes one at a time in social situations, especially youth and young adults. Labeling the wrappers of cigarettes and other tobacco products would make it nearly impossible to avoid health warnings altogether. If implemented, Canada would be the first country in the world to introduce such a requirement.

The proposed regulations would also build on existing requirements by updating current health-related messages, extending message requirements to all tobacco product packaging, and implementing periodic rotation of messages, among other measures. These messages would include an expanded list of health hazards and adverse health effects to be featured on health warnings and health information messages for tobacco products, including stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and cervical cancer.

In addition, the proposed regulations would support from Canada Anti-tobacco strategy preventing long-term tobacco dependence, reducing tobacco-related death and disease, and reducing burden from Canada the health system and society.

The draft regulation is in the Canada Gazette, Part I. To participate in the consultation, interested parties may submit comments by email to [email protected] until August 25e. Comments from the consultation will inform the development of the final regulations.


“Reducing the devastating harms of tobacco use remains a top priority for health and health care in Canada. To better inform Canadians about the effects of smoking on their health and that of those around them, our government is proposing to strengthen regulations that would introduce new warnings about the health risks and negative health effects of tobacco products. tobacco. If implemented, they would prevent the avoidable, as they would better communicate the health risks of smoking to millions of people across the country every day, helping more Canadians live healthier, happier lives. and without tobacco. »

The Honorable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

“As a government, we are committed to using all the tools at our disposal – including tobacco packaging and labeling – to help protect the health of all Canadians, especially young people and non-smokers. . from Canada Tobacco Strategy, we are striving to reduce tobacco consumption from 13% to less than 5% by 2035, a commitment we continue to make progress on. Ensuring everyone across the country can receive credible information about the risks of smoking so they can make healthier choices is crucial to everyone’s well-being. »

The Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos
health Minister

“As a global leader in smoking cessation and host of the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation, the University of Ottawa The Heart Institute welcomes any initiative to reduce the consumption of tobacco and tobacco-derived products to prevent heart attacks and save thousands of lives in Canada.”

dr. Thierry Mesana
President and CEO, University of Ottawa Heart Institute

“The proposed regulations are an essential and effective measure to reduce tobacco use and are internationally revolutionary in several respects, including with certain provisions setting global precedents. Canada already has the best tobacco plain packaging regulations in the world. With the proposed settlement, Canada would also have the best overall tobacco health warning system in the world, including improved messages on the outside of the package, inside-pack messages that are unique in the world, and health messages on the cigarette itself, a world first. »

Rob Cunningham
Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society

“Heart & Stroke applauds the federal government’s proposal to strengthen health warnings on tobacco packaging, including the bold step of adding health warnings to the cigarettes themselves. Messages that clearly and directly highlight the dangers associated with these products will reduce their appeal to young people and support smokers in their efforts to quit.

Doug Roth
CEO, Heart & Stroke

“We were extremely pleased to see Minister Bennett’s announcement on measures to strengthen the labeling of tobacco products. Today there was a proposal to have warnings directly on cigarettes, which is a bold and hard-hitting strategy, which will continue from Canada tends to be a leader in tobacco control. Thus, the message on the danger of these products for the lung health of Canadians will not go unnoticed. »

Terry Dean
President and CEO, Canadian Lung Association

“These proposed new warnings are an important step forward in protecting public health. They provide another welcome example of Canadian innovation in tobacco regulation.”

Cynthia Callard
Executive Director, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada

“Health warning messages and images are not only seen by smokers themselves, but also by those close to them, including children. With over a billion warnings circulating in Canada each year, they go a long way and contribute massively to public awareness efforts on the risks of smoking, in addition to being free. »

Flory Doucas
Co-director and spokesperson for the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control

Fast facts

  • In recent decades, smoking prevalence has fallen from 28% in 1998 to 13% today.

  • Canada first adopted pictorial warning requirements for tobacco product packaging in 2000 to raise awareness of the health risks and health effects associated with tobacco use. Labels on tobacco product packaging combine strong images with noticeable, informative and believable messages.

  • Current health-related messages and images for cigarettes and little cigars have been in place since 2011. Those for most remaining tobacco products have remained unchanged since their introduction in 2000.

  • The proposed regulations would build on the achievements of current tobacco product labeling requirements. They would also consolidate all labeling and packaging requirements for tobacco products into one set of regulations: the Tobacco Products Packaging and Labeling Regulations.

  • The proposed regulations would support the objectives of the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, in particular to increase public awareness of the health risks of tobacco use. They would also support from Canada Anti-tobacco strategy and its goal of achieving less than 5% tobacco use by 2035.

  • The proposed regulation would bring Canada in full compliance with its tobacco labeling obligations under Article 11 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control by extending requirements for health warnings and information on toxicity to all tobacco product packaging.

Related products

Information document

Related links

Consultation page
Labeling of tobacco products
Tobacco and Vaping Products Act
from Canada Anti-tobacco strategy

SOURCE Health Canada

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