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NBC Chicago: Canada Reveals First-Ever Personalized Tobacco Cautionary Notice


Jun 1, 2023

Canada is set to become the first-ever country in the world to implement warning labels on individual cigarettes. Health Canada revealed this new regulation last year, which is aimed to help smokers curb their addiction. The new regulation will be implemented starting from August 1, 2022, and will be phased in gradually. King-size cigarettes will be the first to bear the labels, followed by regular-sized cigarettes and tipped little cigars which will be available for purchase in stores by the end of July 2024. Speaking about the innovative move, Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction, said, “With this bold measure, health warning messages will become virtually inevitable.”

The warnings have been written in both English and French and contain phrases such as “Every puff contains poison,” “Tobacco smoke harms children,” and “Tobacco causes impotence.” A study conducted by the New York University School of Dentistry has found that periodontal disease can be caused by several bacteria present in cigarette smoke. The new strategy is aimed at reducing tobacco use in Canada to less than 5% by 2035 with the strengthening of health-related graphic images displayed on cigarette packages. Bennett stated that tobacco use was responsible for the deaths of 48,000 Canadians every year.

CEO of Hearts and Strokes Charity, Doug Ross, applauded the bold move, which he says didn’t overlook the dangers to lung health. The Canadian Cancer Society also welcomed the announcement, saying that it would make smoking and cigarettes less attractive and help prevent cancer and other illnesses. Senior Policy Analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society, Rob Cunningham, said that health messages would be delivered to smokers with every puff and during smoking breaks.

Canada already prohibits tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship. In fact, it became the first country to require tobacco companies to place warning labels with pictorial images on the outside of their cigarette packs and include health messages in their inserts back in 2001. Now, with this new move, Canada is set to become the world leader in tobacco health warning systems.

By Editor

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