Government of Canada is consulting on proposed regulations for plain and standardized appearance for tobacco products

News release

Proposal would help to protect Canadians, particularly youth, from the health hazards of tobacco products

June 22, 2018 - Ottawa, ON - Health Canada

Despite decades of effort to reduce smoking rates and a steady decline in the percentage of Canadians who smoke, tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Canada. It is estimated that at least 45,000 deaths are attributable to smoking each year.

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced the launch of public consultations on proposed regulations on a plain and standardized appearance for tobacco products. The consultations, which will run until September 6, 2018, are an important step forward in protecting Canadians from the hazards of tobacco use. All Canadians are encouraged to provide their feedback

Tobacco packages, and the products they contain, have remained powerful promotional vehicles for the tobacco industry to communicate brand imagery and attract new users. Research has shown that plain and standardized tobacco packaging reduces the appeal and attractiveness of tobacco products, especially to youth.

The Government of Canada has committed to introducing plain and standardized packaging requirements for tobacco products. The proposed regulations would apply to all tobacco packaging and certain tobacco products, and include measures such as removing distinctive and attractive features from packaging, restricting how brand names are displayed, and requiring the same unappealing colour on all tobacco packages.

The proposed measures are part of the Government of Canada's comprehensive new strategy to address tobacco use. The new Canada's Tobacco Strategy, which was introduced in May 2018, sets the stage to drive down tobacco use to 5% of the Canadian population by 2035. Under this new strategy, we will see fewer Canadians starting to smoke, more Canadians quitting, and a new generation of healthier Canadians with a greater awareness of how important it is to never pick up that first cigarette.

Quotes

"Every year, more than 45,000 Canadians die from preventable diseases that can be directly linked to smoking and tobacco use. Research shows that the best way to prevent these deaths is to stop people from smoking in the first place, especially when they're young. By launching consultations on plain and standardized packaging, we are fulfilling a commitment to making tobacco products less attractive to young Canadians and deterring them from ever trying that first cigarette."

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • The vast majority of smokers begin by adolescence or young adulthood. In Canada, 82% of current adult daily smokers had smoked their first cigarette by the age of 18.

  • In 2015, 115,000 Canadians began smoking cigarettes daily.

  • Research has shown that standardized, plain tobacco packaging reduces its appeal and attractiveness, especially among young people.

  • Canada is not alone in implementing plain packaging. More than15 other countries have adopted similar measures.

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Associated links

Contacts

Thierry Bélair
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Health Canada
613-957-2983
hc.media.sc@canada.ca

Public Inquiries:
613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709


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