OTTAWA, April 29, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced consultations on proposed amendments that would restrict menthol flavoured tobacco products on the Canadian market and would further protect youth from the dangers of tobacco use.
The proposal would build on changes that came into force in 2009 and 2015, which banned the use of certain additives, including flavours like chocolate and bubble gum, in all cigarettes, blunt wraps and most cigars including little cigars, to make them less attractive to youth. This new proposal would expand on these restrictions by prohibiting menthol, an additive used by tobacco manufacturers to improve the palatability of their products and increase their appeal.
Research has shown that an important way to curb lifetime smoking is to prevent youth from starting to smoke in the first place. Despite success in reducing smoking rates among youth to a record low, recent data points to a spike in sales of menthol products and illustrates that youth smoke menthol cigarettes. This research supports restrictions on flavoured tobacco, including those with menthol, in order to reduce their appeal to youth.
A 30-day consultation period will begin when a Notice describing the proposal is published in Canada Gazette, Part I on April 30, 2016. Interested parties are encouraged to submit their comments on the proposal online or via regular mail during the consultation period.
- Trends in menthol tobacco products sales have shifted recently. Beginning in 2009, menthol cigarette sales increased for five consecutive years and, in 2014, they were 14% higher than in 2008.
- Of Canadian youth who are current smokers, 37% reported using a menthol cigarette in the last 30 days, according to the latest Youth Smoking Survey.
"Tens of thousands of Canadians die each year from smoking-related illness and studies have shown that the younger a person starts smoking, the greater the risk of premature death. By banning menthol flavouring, which is shown to be popular amongst those under 25, we can help steer youth away from experimenting with tobacco in the first place."
Minister of Health
Notice — Proposed Order to amend the Schedule to the Tobacco Act
Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (2012)
Youth Smoking Survey (2012-13)
Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/media
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Contacts: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations: Health Canada, 613-957-2983: Public Inquiries: 613-957-2991, 1-866 225-0709