News release: Heart and Stroke welcomes broad overhaul of Tobacco Act

Packaging restrictions and e-cigarette regulations among important changes to protect health

Heart & Stroke applauds the federal government for passing innovative and ambitious changes to the Tobacco Act through Bill S-5, implementing plain and standardized packaging, regulating vaping products, and including health warnings on cigarettes themselves.

“The federal government has shown true leadership in tobacco control through this bold and substantial legislation,” says Yves Savoie, CEO, Heart & Stroke. “Smoking rates have declined significantly but 45,000 people in Canada still die every year from tobacco use. Mandating plain and standardized packaging, regulating vaping products and increasing exposure to health warnings are significant steps, especially to protect our youth.”

The tobacco regulations will impose standardized colour, font and other marketing elements on packaging, and prohibit promotional information such as logos. This will strip products of their appeal as packaging design has long been used to entice new users and create brand loyalty. All tobacco brands would look the same and include the same messages around the harms of tobacco use.

E-cigarettes that contain nicotine will now become legal and will also be regulated, and safety standards will be applied. The sale of vaping products to youth will be prohibited and marketing will be restricted, including a ban on the promotion of vaping flavours that might be appealing to young people.

“E-cigarettes appeal to youth and unfortunately too many are experimenting with them. As e-cigarettes with nicotine become more readily accessible, we need to ensure youth are shielded from advertising and promotion,” says Savoie.

The new legislation will also enable health warning messages on cigarettes themselves. Canada will be the first country in the world to include such pointed messages as “smoking kills” on each product.

About Heart & Stroke

Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so Canadians don’t miss out on precious moments. Together, we are working to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery through research, health promotion and public policy.

For media interviews, please contact: 

Stephanie Lawrence
Senior Manager, Communications, Heart & Stroke 
613.691.4022 or 613.290.4236