TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - New, larger graphic picture warnings on
cigarette packages showing the negative health effects of smoking are
beginning to appear in retail stores across Canada. The new graphic
warnings will now cover more of the package (75 per cent of the front
and back), up from the current 50 per cent, putting Canada among
countries with the largest health warnings in the world.
The new warnings include disturbing pictures of a mouth with cancer, a
diseased heart, and a man after a stroke. The set of 16 new warnings
also include powerful images of the late Barb Tarbox of Alberta before
she died of lung cancer, as well as Manitoban Leroy Kehler who speaks
through a hole in his throat following his treatment for cancer of the
Manufacturers have until March 21, 2012 to ensure that all the
cigarettes they sell have the larger warnings, however some packages
are already appearing in stores with the new labels. By June 19, all
cigarette packages sold in retail stores must carry the new warnings.
"These new cigarette health warnings are a major advance that will
reduce smoking and increase awareness of the terrible health effects,"
says Dan Demers, Director, Public Issues, Canadian Cancer Society. "The
warnings are striking and will be hard to ignore. We welcome the
arrival of the new warnings and applaud Minister of Health Leona
Aglukkaq for bringing this health initiative forward."
This larger, graphic set of picture warnings is part of the federal Tobacco Products Labelling Regulations (Cigarettes and Little Cigars), which received final approval on September 22, 2011. The Canadian
Cancer Society has strongly supported these regulations. The enhanced
package warning system for cigarettes and little cigars also includes:
The addition of a toll-free quit line number and a web link to the
warning messages. International data show that calls to quit lines
increase substantially when a toll-free number is added prominently to
For the first time, warnings about certain health effects of smoking,
e.g. bladder cancer and vision loss, are included.
A set of eight new, full-colour, picture-based messages inside the
An improved set of toxic emission messages that will appear in rotation
on the side of the package, to replace the existing message.
In 2000, Canada set a world precedent by becoming the first country to
require picture warnings on tobacco packages, with regulations taking
effect in 2001. There are now 47 countries/jurisdictions that have
followed the Canadian model.
"The new warnings highlight the importance of Health Canada's Federal
Tobacco Control Strategy, which is the federal framework for tobacco
control regulations. This strategy is set to expire on March 31, 2012,
after having been in place for eleven years," adds Demers. "It is
essential that Health Canada renew its tobacco strategy with sustained
funding to ensure that tobacco control initiatives are as effective as
possible. Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of disease
and death in Canada, and yet 17 per cent of Canadians are still
As part of its mission to eradicate cancer, the Canadian Cancer Society
is a leader in advocating for public policies that will provide a
healthier future for Canadians. Tobacco control is a key issue for the
Society as smoking causes an estimated 30 per cent of all cancer deaths
and is related to more than 85 per cent of lung cancer cases.
The Canadian Cancer Society fights cancer by doing everything we can to
prevent cancer, save lives and support people living with cancer. Join
the fight! Go to www.ifightcancer.ca to find out how you can help. When you want to know more about cancer,
visit our website at cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.
SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (National Office)
For further information:
Senior Policy Analyst
Canadian Cancer Society
Phone: (613) 565-2522 x305