Heart & Stroke welcomes regulations on plain packaging

New restrictions make Canada the global leader of the pack for tobacco control

Heart & Stroke is thrilled to see robust regulations for plain and standardized packaging on all tobacco products. These measures are considered the strongest and most comprehensive in the world.

“We applaud the federal government for its decisive action around tobacco control,” says Yves Savoie, CEO, Heart & Stroke. “Plain and standardized packaging is another important step in reducing tobacco use which will support more people to quit smoking and will help protect our youth by making these deadly products less appealing.”

The tobacco regulations will impose standardized package colour and font and eliminate other marketing elements on packaging, such as promotional information and logos. This will strip products of the design elements that have long been used to entice new users and create brand loyalty. All tobacco brands and products would look alike and include health warnings around the harms of tobacco use.

Slide and shell will be the mandated package format for cigarettes, maximizing the size and visibility of health warnings on the exterior of the package. Slim and superslim cigarette packages will be banned which are appealing to young women and girls as they conveniently fit in small purses. Cigarettes size will also be regulated and slim cigarettes banned. These products are often appealing to young women and inaccurately perceived to be less harmful because of the delicate and small form.

Consultations will take place before the regulations are finalized. Tobacco manufacturers and retailers will be allowed a transition period to implement changes and the new packaging is expected to be on store shelves in 2019.

Smoking rates have declined significantly but 45,000 people in Canada still 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 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

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