In an effort to discourage young people from starting to smoke and to support those who are already addicted, Canada is going to be the first country in the world to begin printing warnings directly onto individual cigarettes.
Phrases like “Cigarettes cause cancer” and “Poison in every puff” will be included in the warnings, which will be presented in both English and French.
On Tuesday, the newly promulgated regulations will become law.
By July 2024, producers will be required to ensure that the warnings are printed on all king-size cigarettes that are marketed, and by April 2025, the warnings will need to be printed on all regular-size cigarettes and small cigars that come with tipping paper and tubes.
The sentences will be displayed by the filter, including warnings on how the substance is harmful to youngsters, how it can damage organs, how it can cause impotence, and how it can cause leukaemia.
When the new standards were announced in May, Health Canada stated that they “will make it virtually impossible to avoid health warnings” on tobacco products.
In the year 2026, it is anticipated that a second set of six sentences would be put on cigarette packages.
The move is a part of Canada’s goal to reduce the number of people who use tobacco to fewer than 5% by 2035, and it comes after a period of public consultation that lasted for 75 days and was initiated the previous year.
Since 1989, the country of Canada has mandated that warning labels be printed on the packaging of cigarettes. In the year 2000, the country also mandated that pictorial warnings be printed on the packaging of tobacco products.
Health Canada has also indicated that they intends to increase the number of warnings by printing extra warning labels within the packages themselves and introducing new warning messages that are displayed on the outside of the packages.
“Health warnings on individual cigarettes will likely push some people who smoke to make an attempt to quit, and they may prevent some young people from starting to smoke,” he said. “Health warnings on individual cigarettes will also likely prevent some young people from starting to smoke.”
He also used New Zealand as an example of a country that is ahead of the pack in reducing the amount of people who smoke tobacco by introducing cigarettes with very low nicotine content.
Mr. Schwartz continued by saying, “These are the kinds of measures that are needed if we are serious about decreasing tobacco use.”
Tobacco usage is still responsible for the deaths of 48,000 people in Canada each year.
According to statements made in the past by Canada’s Minister of Public Services, Jean-Yves Duclos, “tobacco use continues to be one of the most significant public health problems in Canada” and “is the country’s leading preventable cause of disease as well as premature death in Canada.”
The Canadian Cancer Society, Canada’s Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the Canadian Lung Association have all commended the warning labels, saying that they believe the measures will stop individuals, especially young people, from starting to smoke in the first place. The Canadian Lung Association has also expressed their hope that the measures will prevent people from becoming addicted to smoking.
It is well-accepted that smoking cigarettes is a risk factor for getting lung cancer, along with cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
According to findings of 2021 national survey conducted by Tobacco and Nicotine, the percentage of people aged 15 or older who smoke in Canada is approximately 10%, while the usage of electronic cigarettes has been on the rise.