Plain and Standardized Appearance for Tobacco Packaging

Backgrounder

June 2018

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.

Canada's Tobacco Strategy includes measures to modernize Canada's approach to tobacco control, a new approach to regulating vaping products, and the implementation of a plain and standardized appearance for all tobacco packaging and certain tobacco products.

Tobacco packages, and the products they contain, have remained powerful promotional vehicles for the tobacco industry to communicate brand imagery and attract new tobacco users. Research has shown that plain and standardized packaging reduces the appeal and attractiveness of tobacco products, especially to youth. This effect has been demonstrated in research conducted on both non-smokers and smokers in numerous countries, including Canada.

The objectives of the proposed regulations are to:

  1. protect young persons and others from inducements to use tobacco products and their consequent dependence on them; and
  2. prevent the public from being deceived or misled with respect to the health hazards of using tobacco products.

The proposed measures for tobacco product packaging include standardizing the overall appearance of all tobacco packaging (colour, font) and requiring cigarette packages to be a standard size and shape and to have a standard opening (slide and shell). Measures proposed for tobacco products include standardizing the size and colour of certain products.

The proposed regulations are open for a 75-day public comment period, which ends September 6, 2018. All Canadians are encouraged to provide their feedback.


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