Society applauds national ban on menthol cigarettes

29 April 2016

Toronto -

The Canadian Cancer Society applauds a national ban on menthol cigarettes announced today by Minister of Health Jane Philpott. 

“A ban on menthol cigarettes is an essential and necessary measure to protect Canadian kids,” says Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society. “Menthol cigarettes mask the harsh taste of tobacco smoke and make it easier for youth to experiment and become addicted. Health Minister Jane Philpott deserves praise for bringing this ban forward.”

The Youth Smoking Survey for 2012-13 found that of Canadian high school students who smoke, 29% smoke menthol.

In recent months, 2 tobacco companies have introduced cigarettes with a squeezable menthol filter containing a capsule that gives a burst of menthol when squeezed. These cigarettes are a gimmick attractive to youth, and provide an even greater rationale to ban menthol cigarettes. The companies that introduced these cigarettes are Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. and Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd.

To date, 5 provinces have adopted legislation to ban menthol, with regulations in PEI awaiting approval (implementation dates shown in brackets):

  • Nova Scotia (May 31, 2015)
  • Alberta (Sept. 30, 2015)
  • New Brunswick (Jan. 1, 2016)
  • Quebec (Aug. 26, 2016)
  • Ontario (Jan. 1, 2017)
The announcement was published online today in the Canada Gazette, Part I, and is to be followed by a 30-day consultation period. The ban on menthol would apply to cigarettes, blunt wraps, and most cigars.

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