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Canada now requires a health warning directly on every cigarette

The Canadian government revealed final rules to require a health warning to display directly on every cigarette, a world first, on May 31, 2023, World No Tobacco Day. The Canadian Cancer Society and other health organizations have hailed the statement, which has drawn considerable international attention.

According to Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst for the Canadian Cancer Society, a health warning on each every cigarette is novel and sets a new standard for the industry. The policy ensures that health messages are spread with every cigarette and puff, at every break to smoke, and to young people who try cigarettes on their own by borrowing them from friends. This action will lessen cigarette appeal and smoking rates, hence reducing the risk of cancer and other disorders.

It is anticipated that many nations will adopt this policy in the same way as more than 130 nations and territories already mandate pictorial warnings on cigarette packaging as a result of the Canadian precedent put in place in 2001. Warnings that are printed directly on cigarettes may have an even bigger impact in nations where cigarettes are frequently sold unpackaged and separately.

There will be two sets of six warnings for the Canadian warnings that are directly on cigarettes, and the sets will alternate. The warnings will be printed in both English and French, in upper case, on the filter end of the cigarette, as seen in the mock-ups given by the Canadian Department of Health (“Health Canada”). For cigarettes that are 83-85 mm in length (the standard cigarette length globally and known as “King Size” length in Canada), the implementation deadline will be April 30, 2024 at the manufacturer level, July 31, 2024 at the retail level, and April 30, 2025 at the retail level for cigarettes that are 70-73 mm in length. As of 2021, 69% of cigarettes sold in Canada are King Size cigarettes.

The mandatory health statements on both the exterior and interior of packaging will be improved by the new Canadian standards. By April 30, 2024, a second new set of 14 picture warnings on the package’s exterior must emerge, and they must cover 75% of the package’s front and rear the following year. By April 30, 2024, enhanced messages on the interior of packages will also be necessary at retail. With “slide and shell” currently the only permissible format for cigarette packaging in the nation, Canada is still the only country that has required a health warning on the package interior in addition to the package outside.

The seventh edition of a study by the Canadian Cancer Society, dated October 2021, describes the global trend toward mandating pictorial warnings, warnings with increased size, and plain packaging. There are already at least 25 countries and territories with final regulations for plain packaging, which eliminates brand colors and logos and utilizes a uniform backdrop color for all companies (such dull brown), starting with Australia in 2012 and includes Canada in 2019.

According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills more than 8 million people annually, 80% of tobacco users worldwide reside in low- and middle-income countries, and in 2020, tobacco was used by 22.3% of people worldwide, including 36.7% of males and 7.8% of women. In addition to heart disease, stroke, emphysema, and at least 15 additional cancers, smoking has a number of negative health impacts, including those brought on by secondhand smoke. According to data from 2021, 12% of people in Canada who are 12 or older still smoke, or 3.8 million people. By 2035, the Canadian government wants to reduce tobacco use to 5% or less of the population.

With regards to the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society puts in unrelenting effort to enhance and preserve lives. We support the top researchers in cancer research. We offer a caring network of support to anybody afflicted by cancer, everywhere in Canada, and for any type of cancer. We collaborate with governments to create a healthier society in our capacity as the voice of those who care about cancer. No other organization goes to the lengths we do to improve people’s lives today and permanently alter the course of cancer. Help us change the world. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit right now if you’re in Canada.

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