CCS applauds federal plans to require health warning on cigarette itself & require standardized package format for plain packaging

31 May 2018

Ottawa -

The Canadian Cancer Society is applauding the announcement today by Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor of plans to require a health warning directly on the cigarette itself. “A health warning on the cigarette itself would be a cost-effective communications opportunity to convey a health message given that there are 27 billion cigarettes sold each year in Canada,” says Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society. “A warning on the cigarette will continue to work when away from the package, such as when a teenager asks a friend for a cigarette.”

“A health warning on the cigarette itself would also make cigarettes less attractive and provide an additional measure to reduce contraband. By requiring a marking on cigarettes intended for legitimate sale in Canada, law enforcement authorities would have a further tool to respond to illegal cigarettes.”

An amendment for regulatory authority to require a health warning on the cigarette itself was approved with all-party support by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health during consideration of Bill S-5.

Minister Petitpas Taylor also announced her support to require the slide and shell format for pending plain and standardized packaging regulations. This format was recommended by health organizations to enhance the effectiveness of the regulations.

“We strongly support the requirement for slide and shell packaging format,” adds Cunningham. “Among the benefits, this format will increase the size and thus the effectiveness of health warnings.”

The announcements by the Minister of Health were made as part of the launch of Canada’s Tobacco Strategy, the new strengthened federal tobacco control strategy.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in Canada, killing more than 45,000 Canadians annually. Tobacco is responsible for $6.5 billion in annual health care costs.

About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization 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 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