In Canada, starting in July 2024, all tobacco manufacturers will be required to ensure that they include warnings on each individual king-size cigarette and then, in 2025, on all other types of cigarettes, with the intent to discourage young people from starting to smoke and encourage existing smokers to quit.
Dr Robert Schwartz of the University of Toronto told BBC News that “Health warnings on individual cigarettes will probably prompt some people who smoke to try to quit.” He also pointed to New Zealand as the leader in progress on smoking restrictions, with measures such as the introduction of very low nicotine cigarettes.
A year ago, the former Minister of Mental Health and Addictions of Canada, Carolyn Bennett, put this new initiative on the table, which was followed by a 75-day public consultation period. Furthermore, as reported by the BBC, the goal is to reduce tobacco use in the country to less than 5% by 2035.
After Benett’s announcement and taking into account the public consultation period, the way of carrying out this initiative was slightly changed. Originally it was going to include only one phrase that would be “Poison in every puff”Now, phrases such as “Cigarettes cause cancer” or “Tobacco harms children” will also be included.
These warnings, which will be mandatory, will appear on the paper that surrounds the filter and with these messages that will be focused on the health problems caused by tobacco, such as harm to children or that can be cause of diseases such as cancer, impotence and leukemia among others. In addition, they will appear in both English and French, to ensure that they reach and raise awareness among the entire Canadian population.