Canada to Become First Country to Mandate Warning Labels on Individual Cigarettes

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Retailers and smokers will start to see these new messages on cigarette packaging by the end of April 2024

By Physician’s Briefing Staff HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 1, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Smokers in Canada will soon see health warnings on each and every cigarette they light up. The country will be the first in the world to print these warnings directly on individual cigarettes.

“This bold step will make health warning messages virtually unavoidable, and together with updated graphic images displayed on the package, will provide a real and startling reminder of the health consequences of smoking,” Carolyn Bennett, Canada Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, said in a Health Canada news release announcing the new labeling. “We will continue to do whatever it takes to help more people in Canada stop smoking and help young people to live healthy, tobacco-free lives.”

Retailers and smokers will start to see these new messages on cigarette packaging by the end of April 2024. They will appear on individual king-size cigarettes by late July 2024 and on regular cigarettes, little cigars with tipping paper, and tubes by the end of April 2025.

The regulations will support Canada’s Tobacco Strategy, which has set a target of reaching less than 5 percent tobacco use by 2035. Among the changes are strengthening health-related messages on tobacco products, extending the requirement to all tobacco packages, and beginning to rotate messages.

The country first began using warnings that contained pictures on tobacco product packages in 2000. Current messaging and images have been in place on some products since 2011 and on others for more than 20 years.

“The bold measures announced today to strengthen tobacco product labeling will ensure the dangers of these products to lung health cannot be missed. Requiring warnings directly on cigarettes — the first country to do so — will help to reduce their appeal, particularly for youth,” said Terry Dean, president and CEO of the Canadian Lung Association. “Canada must continue to take decisive action to reduce tobacco use.”

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