Canada will soon be the first country in the world to place health warnings on each individual cigarette
Canadian cigarette companies will be required to carry health warnings on each individual cigarette, the country’s minister of mental Health and addictions, Carolyn Bennett, announced during a press conference on Friday.
“The addition of health warnings to specific tobacco products will make sure that the essential message reaches everyone, even youth who frequently smoke in groups.,” Bennett told reporters.
On Saturday, the government opened a consultation period of 75 days for any proposed changes. The change will be effective in 2023’s second half if it is approved. While the message to be printed on the individual cigarettes has not yet been decided upon, the favorite suggestion thus far is “Every puff of poison is deadly”
The packages will include more information about the adverse health effects of smoking. This includes everything from colorectal and stomach cancers to diabetes and peripheral vein disease.
Canada, which was first to display graphic images showing lung cancer and other harmful effects of smoking in cigarette packaging, started a trend that has since spread around the world. These photos had to be on 75% of all cigarette packaging by 2012 (back and front).
According to Bennett, those once-disturbing photos of diseased hearts and bald cancer patients “We worry they might have lost their novelty..” Previous health ministers have acknowledged that “Gross and frightening” imagery has become increasingly necessary as smokers grew desensitized to the original images.
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The move was hailed by anti-smoking supporters. “This precedent will set the standard for all other countries.,” Canadian Cancer Society senior policy analyst Rob Cunningham told the Guardian. “It’s a warning that you simply cannot ignore. It’s going to reach every smoker, with every puff.”
Statistics Canada reports that Canada has seen a drop in the number of smokers over recent decades. Only 10% reported regularly smoking, compared to most other countries. This government plans to reduce that figure by half by 2035. Smoking is responsible for 48,000 deaths annually in this country. However, 80% of all lung cancers can be attributed to tobacco smoking.
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