The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Canada to boost package warnings – inside and out

One of the new warnings covering 75 per cent of the cigarette package. © Health Canada

The Canadian Government has approved new regulations that will increase the size of health warnings on packages of cigarettes and little cigars from 50 to 75 per cent of the back and front surfaces. 

All packages will also include full-colour, picture-based messages inside the package, making Canada the only country to require messages on the interior and exterior.

Manufacturers and importers will have to implement the warnings as of 21 March 2012, and retailers must ensure that all packages on their shelves feature the new labels by 19 June 2012.

The new requirements also include:

  • Testimonials, notably warnings featuring images of the late Barb Tarbox before she died of lung cancer, as well as of Leroy Kehler, who speaks through a hole in his throat following cancer of the larynx (voice box);
  • A toll-free quit line number and web address for more information;
  • New warnings about certain health effects like bladder cancer and vision loss; and
  • An improved set of four text-only toxic emission messages that rotate on the sides of packages, to replace the existing message.

Uruguay currently has the largest cigarette package health warnings in the world, at 80 per cent of the package front and back. However, Australia has announced (but not yet finalised) proposed warnings that would cover 75 per cent of the front, and 90 per cent of the back of the package.

More information

Caption: One of the warnings covering 75 per cent of the cigarette package. ©Health Canada

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