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Cigarette package health warnings

Cigarette package health warnings in Canada have improved over time:

  • In 1989, regulations required a series of 4 text warnings covering 20% of the package front and back.
  • In 1994, regulations required text warnings in black and white to cover the top 35% of the package front and back.
  • In 2001, Canada became the first country to require picture warnings and the first country to mandate 50% of the package front and back.
  • In 2012, picture warnings were required to cover 75% of the package front and back. The Society strongly supports these warnings.

Read more about current tobacco package warnings in Canada.

  • Survey asks if cigarette package warnings discourage smoking

    In 2002, the Society released a study by Environics Research Group Limited – Evaluation of New Warnings on Cigarette Packages – about the effectiveness of precedent-setting picture warnings in Canada.

  • Society’s report on cigarette package health warnings

    Since 2008, the Society has published Cigarette Package Health Warnings: International Status Report every 2 years. The report examines the use of cigarette package warnings by countries around the world and ranks countries based on warning size and if picture warnings are required. Read our media release coinciding with the 2018 report.

    The 2018 report is also available in French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Portuguese. You can access any of these versions at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids website.

  • Manitoban featured on cigarette package

    Leroy Kehler, a former smoker and cancer survivor lent his voice and image to the national fight to increase warning pictures to cover 75% of the package front and back. Having spoken to thousands of Manitoba school-aged children about the dangers of tobacco use, Kehler agreed to put his picture on tobacco packages.

    When Kehler started smoking at the age of ten, he wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary – his parents and siblings were all smoking. But if he could rewind time, he would. “I’d go back and never start in the first place, and tell my family to stop too,” he says. Kehler lost three members of his family to smoking. His mother, father and brother all died from either heart disease or cancer.

    Leroy himself was so addicted to tobacco, it was only when his health was in jeopardy that he managed to quit. However, his actions came too late as Kehler was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx. He had his larynx removed and while that has saved his life, it has left him dependent on a voice prosthesis to communicate.

    But he still has a voice: Leroy volunteers his time to the Canadian Cancer Society where he tells youth to stay away from cigarettes because of the devastating effects they can have on smokers and their loved ones.



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