Harper Government Implements Further Restrictions on Flavoured Cigars That Appeal to Youth

Amendments will close the loophole that allowed the marketing of certain flavoured cigars

OTTAWA, June 18, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced the adoption of new measures to further restrict flavours in cigars that appeal to youth.

The changes follow the 2009 Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act, which banned the use of certain additives, including flavours like chocolate and bubble gum, in cigarettes, little cigars and blunt wraps, thereby making them less attractive to youth.

Since that time, however, resized cigars in the same flavours as those that were prohibited by the 2009 legislation have emerged on the Canadian market. The regulations introduced today have targeted these products by closing the loophole that allowed manufacturers to simply change the weight of little cigars or remove their filter to continue producing them.

The amendments, published June 17, 2015, in Canada Gazette, Part II, will come into force on December 14, 2015.

Delivering on a commitment made by the Prime Minister, these regulations are an example of the Government of Canada's commitment to take action to protect youth from the dangers of tobacco use.

Quick Facts

  • Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Canada, responsible for more than 37,000 deaths each year.
  • Canada was the first country in the world to ban flavouring additives in cigarettes, little cigars and blunt wraps that made them attractive to youth.
  • Tobacco use in Canada is at an historic low overall. The latest federal numbers from 2013 show that smoking rates among youth (aged 15-19) is at 11%, representing the lowest rate recorded for this age group since Health Canada first reported smoking prevalence.
  • The proposed amendments prohibit most flavours and selected additives in cigars weighing more than 1.4 grams but no more than 6 grams, as well as in cigars that use tipping paper or do not feature a wrapper fitted in spiral form.
  • The Government of Canada is investing almost $5 million over five years to encourage young adult smokers aged 20 to 24 to quit smoking and stay smoke-free. The Break It Off tobacco cessation campaign is a collaboration between Health Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society.

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to helping ensure the health and safety of our youth and these changes will further protect them from the dangers of smoking. These actions build on the concrete steps our Government has already taken to reduce smoking rates in Canada to record lows."
Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

Associated Links

Canada Gazette Part II 
Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Survey 2013 
Order Amending the Schedule to the Tobacco Act

 

SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Media Relations, Health Canada, (613) 957-2983; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709


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