Heart & Stroke applauds bold new tobacco packaging and labelling regulations

Health warnings on individual cigarettes is a global first

Heart & Stroke commends Health Canada’s precedent-setting announcement requiring health warnings directly on individual cigarettes, making Canada the first country in the world to do so. The new regulations also include strengthened health messages on cigarette and other tobacco product packages, which will rotate periodically. The new regulations come into force on August 1, 2023 and will be implemented through a phased approach over the next year.  

“Canada is now a global leader of the pack when it comes to health warning regimes for cigarettes,” says Doug Roth, CEO, Heart & Stroke. “Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada and these important new measures will protect youth and support current smokers in their efforts to quit."

Mandating messages that highlight the dangers associated with smoking is both innovative and strategic. Research shows that health warnings on cigarettes are associated with a reduced likelihood of use and less favourable product perceptions. As well, evidence shows such messages on each cigarette itself could be highly effective in dissuading use and increasing quit attempts especially among young adults, one of the hardest groups to reach in Canada.

These new regulations are key components of the federal control tobacco strategy, which commits to driving down tobacco use to 5% of the population in Canada by 2035.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the federal government on other key measures to reduce nicotine addiction, including a comprehensive vape flavour ban that includes mint/menthol to protect youth,” says Roth.

In Canada 46,000 people die every year from tobacco use and half or more of all long-term regular smokers will die prematurely as a result of tobacco use.

About Heart & Stroke

Life. We don't want you to miss it. That's why Heart & Stroke has been leading the fight to beat heart disease and stroke for 70 years. 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. heartandstroke.ca @HeartandStroke

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Natalie Lian