Society welcomes commitment to tobacco plain packaging, increased investment in tobacco control initiatives

09 October 2015

Toronto -

The Canadian Cancer Society supports federal action to implement tobacco plain packaging and to increase investment in tobacco control initiatives, as proposed today by NDP leader Tom Mulcair.

“Tobacco plain packaging is crucial to counter tobacco industry promotional tactics and to protect youth,” says Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society. “The tobacco industry uses packages to convey lifestyle messages and to make their products seem more appealing.”

“It is firmly established that well-funded, sustained tobacco control initiatives are essential as part of an effective tobacco strategy,” adds Cunningham. “The increased funding investment of $10 million per year will enable Health Canada to have greater impact in reducing tobacco use.”

“We welcome the announcement made today, and we urge all parties to make similar commitments,” says Cunningham. “We need to do everything we can to combat the tobacco epidemic.”

Plain packaging means tobacco company logos, colours and design elements on the brand part of the package would be prohibited, as would stylish “superslim” package formats targeting women. Health warnings would still appear on plain packages. Plain packaging was implemented in Australia in 2012, will be in place in Ireland and in the United Kingdom in May 2016, and is under formal consideration in Norway, Hungary, France, Finland, Sweden, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in Canada, killing 37,000 Canadians each year and causing 30% of all cancer deaths.

The Society is calling on all federal parties to make health a priority in the 2015 election campaign and to support policies that will contribute to the eradication of cancer, the sustainability of our health systems and enhanced quality of life for people with cancer and their families.

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