Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett announced significant new measures to Canada’s regulations on tobacco product labelling that ensure harms to lung health cannot be overlooked. Chief amongst these measures is the proposal to include health warnings directly on individual cigarettes.
Should these proposed regulations move forward, Canada will become the first country to include health warnings on individual cigarettes. Individual cigarettes provide a unique platform for education about the harms of cigarettes each time a cigarette is used. These measures also provide an opportunity for preventative messaging to children and youth who may simply view discarded butts or exchange single cigarettes socially.
“We know that one of the key sources of tobacco products for young people are friends and family, so warnings and health information can get missed or overlooked entirely. These new regulations ensure that every cigarette that is shared conveys a powerful reminder of just how dangerous these products really are to lung health,” says Terry Dean, President and CEO of Canadian Lung Association.
These newly proposed regulations also include robust revisions to the existing warnings that clearly convey the chances of occurrence and potential magnitude of negative health impacts. For example, there will be clear warnings regarding the lung disease, for which we know tobacco use is responsible for approximately 80% of cases.
In addition, health information messaging has been enhanced to deliver meaningful information and support those who smoke and want to quit, which is essential to achieving less than 5% tobacco use by 2035.
“The Canadian Lung Association has been engaged in every step in the progression of these regulations,” says Dean. “It’s clear that the feedback given has helped to make these regulations robust.”
Tobacco use is responsible for over 48,000 deaths every year in Canada. While we celebrate this significant step forward, we need to remind ourselves that our work is not done. Future restrictions on vaping — including a comprehensive flavour ban — will only serve to bolster the impact of the regulations announced today.