Society urges Canada to follow the lead of Great Britain and others on tobacco plain packaging

11 March 2015

Toronto -

Today the British House of Commons approved final regulations for plain packaging for tobacco products. The law will come into force on May 20, 2016.

With plain packaging, all tobacco company logos, colours, graphics and promotional features are banned but health warnings remain. Special package formats, such as super-slim packages targeting women, are also banned.

Britain is the third country to bring in this type of legislation. Australia implemented plain packaging in 2012. In Ireland, legislation was signed by the Irish president yesterday, March 10, 2015, and it will come into force on May 20, 2016. France and New Zealand are in the process of adopting legislation, while Norway, Finland and Sweden are formally considering the measure.

“Canada should follow the lead of Australia, Britain, Ireland and other countries and implement plain packaging as soon as possible,” says Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society. “Plain packaging is a key measure to reduce smoking and to protect kids from the tobacco industry. The Canadian Cancer Society has for years urged plain packaging requirements.”

“We have allowed tobacco companies to use packages as mini-billboards for too long,” says Cunningham. “Instead of falling behind other countries, the federal government should require plain packaging to reduce tobacco use, the leading preventable cause of disease and death in Canada.”

Learn more about the new British regulations

Learn more about plain packaging, including international developments

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Rob Cunningham

Senior Policy Analyst

Canadian Cancer Society

National office

Phone: (613) 565-2522 ext 4981