In an attempt to further reduce tobacco use in the country, Health Canada has released new regulations for what cigarette packaging needs to look like.
By November 9th, 2019, all tobacco companies will need to get rid of colourful wrappers and meet the agency’s strict plain packaging regulations.
#Tobacco packages are powerful promotional vehicles. Reducing the appeal of tobacco products is an important initiative under Canada’s Tobacco Strategy. Learn more: https://t.co/R0vrnDLKxD pic.twitter.com/7diImilSif
— GovCanHealth (@GovCanHealth) May 1, 2019
“We have fulfilled our commitment to implement plain packaging requirements for tobacco products,” says Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.
“The evidence is overwhelming that plain packaging is an effective way to drive down tobacco use, especially among young people. Reducing the rate of smoking among Canadians is a top priority for us.”
Over 4 million Canadians (approximately 17% of the population) still uses tobacco despite decades of government attempts to curb smoking.
The agency hopes that introducing a plain packaging requirement will lessen the appeal for youth and adolescents to start using tobacco.
Health Canada hopes to reduce the number of people that rely on tobacco down to 5% by 2035. According to the agency, tobacco use is still the leading preventable cause of premature death and disease in Canada.
“Canada is demonstrating global leadership by adopting the best tobacco plain packaging requirements in the world,” says Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society.
“We strongly support these regulations. Tobacco plain packaging will protect youth, reduce tobacco use, and save lives.”
According to the press release, 13 other countries have adopted similar plain packaging regulations.