Ottawa: Heart & Stroke commends Health Canada’s bold move to introduce health warnings directly on cigarettes, making Canada the first country in the world to do so. Health Canada is also introducing revised and updated health warnings on cigarette packages as well as other elements. These are key components of the federal control tobacco strategy, introduced in May 2018, which commits to driving down tobacco use to 5% of the population in Canada by 2035.
“Canada will now have the strongest health warning regime for cigarettes in the world,” says Doug Roth, CEO, Heart & Stroke. “These are deadly products, and these measures will help to further reduce their appeal to youth and non-smokers, as well as to support current smokers in their efforts to quit."
Heart & Stroke strongly supports Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Carolyn Bennett for putting health warnings directly on cigarettes. Mandating messages that highlight the dangers associated with smoking is both innovative and strategic. Recent research revealed 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 to reach groups in Canada.
In Canada, almost 48,000 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