Backgrounder – Future of Tobacco Control


November 2016

The Government of Canada has launched an ambitious tobacco control agenda for Canada, which includes banning menthol in most tobacco products, implementing plain packaging requirements, introducing a new approach to regulating vaping products, and modernizing Canada’s approach to tobacco control.

Launched in 2001, the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy is a comprehensive tobacco control program and the federal response to tobacco use in Canada. The Strategy has contributed to reducing smoking rates in Canada from 25% in 1999 to 13% in 2015 through an ongoing focus on preventing children and youth from starting to smoke; helping people to quit smoking; helping Canadians protect themselves from second-hand smoke; and regulating the manufacture, sale, labelling and promotion of tobacco products by administering the Tobacco Act

On September 27, 2016, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced that the Government of Canada had extended the Strategy for one year, until March 2018, to allow sufficient time for Health Canada to consult broadly with Canadians on the future of tobacco control and to develop a new and effective long-term plan. Extending the current Strategy will allow Health Canada sufficient time to fully examine options for moving forward and to consider recent developments in the tobacco control environment, such as the emergence of vaping products.

As part of this work, in early 2017, Minister Philpott will convene a national forum to hear from stakeholders, including tobacco control organizations, health professionals, First Nations and Inuit people, provinces, territories and international experts. The forum will inform the development of a new federal approach that includes innovative federal action to further reduce the number of Canadian tobacco users and to regain Canada’s place as a world leader in tobacco control. 

The Government of Canada will be engaging with partners and Canadians through various channels as we move forward with the next steps for tobacco control in Canada. Health Canada will also be launching public consultations in 2017 where Canadians will be able to share their views on the future of tobacco control.

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