In May 2018, the Canadian Parliament passed a sweeping package of anti-tobacco legislation known as S-5 that cleared the way for Health Canada, the government agency responsible for public health, to call for and implement plain packaging of all tobacco and e-cigarette products, including premium cigars.
Today, Canada’s Minster of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, announced that the new regulations for plain and standardized appearance of tobacco packages and products will begin to come into effect on Nov. 9.
“We have fulfilled our commitment to implement plain packaging requirements for tobacco products,” Taylor said via a press release. “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.”
The goal of the country’s Tobacco Strategy program is to reduce tobacco use to five percent of the Canadian population by 2035. Currently, approximately 15 percent of Canadians use tobacco products.
In addition to the plain packaging requirements, the Strategy calls for new regulations to be placed on vaping products and updating health warning messages that appear on tobacco products and tobacco alternative. The country has committed $330 million (US$245.9 million) over the next five years to reducing tobacco use by its citizens.
Plain packaging for tobacco products has already been implemented in several countries, Australia in 2012, the United Kingdom in 2017, France in 2017, and Ireland, Norway and New Zealand in 2018. Additionally, Thailand, Turkey, Hungary, Slovenia and Uruguay are among a list of countries that have announced plans to implement plain packaging by 2020.
Featured image courtesy of CNW Group/Heart and Stroke Foundation.