Canadian Medical Association Applauds New, Larger Tobacco Warnings

OTTAWA, Sept. 27, 2011 /CNW/ - Canadian Medical Association (CMA) President Dr. John Haggie today lauded the announcement that the Canadian government has approved new, larger, graphic health warnings for cigarette and little cigar packages.

"Health Canada's decision to increase the size of health warnings puts Canada back among the global leaders in efforts to raise awareness of the deadly effects of smoking," said Dr. Haggie. "Tobacco still kills some 37,000 Canadians every year and we must do all we can to ensure smokers are reminded of its dangers and the supports available to help them quit."

The CMA issued its first warning against the health risks caused by smoking over 50 years ago. At that time, 54 per cent of Canadian men and 31 per cent of women smoked. The Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey released last week showed that currently only 17 per cent of Canadians now smoke, the lowest proportion ever recorded. Smoking among teenagers aged 15 to 17 has also fallen to a new low of just nine per cent. Tobacco remains the number one preventable cause of disease and death in Canada. Reducing tobacco consumption further would not only lead to a reduction in human suffering and pain, but also help free up scarce health care resources.

"Statistics show that anti-smoking messages work, and the larger the better," added Dr. Haggie. "Canada's physicians are very pleased that our federal government is stepping up efforts to reduce the death and disability caused by tobacco industry products."

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care. The CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing over 74,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51 national medical organizations.


For further information:

Lucie Boileau, Manager, Media Relations
Tel. :  1 800 663-7336 / 613 731-8610 ext. 1266
Cell. :      613 447-0866

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