Minister Philpott Launches Public Consultations on Tobacco Plain Packaging

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 Drug News
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Measures would regulate the size and shape of tobacco products and require standardized colour and font

OTTAWA, May

31, 2016 /CNW/ - Tobacco-related illnesses will claim the lives of 37,000 Canadians this year, and preventing children and youth from starting to smoke is an opportunity to improve the life of Canadian families, and reduce healthcare costs.

Tobacco

packageshave becomepowerful promotional vehiclesfor the tobacco industry. That's why the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health,met with local Ottawa high school studentstoday, on World No Tobacco Day, to officially launch public consultations on plain packaging requirements for tobacco products.

The Government of Canada has committed to introducing plain packagingas part of its continued efforts to protect Canadians against thedangers oftobacco use, which includes the recently announced ban on menthol cigarettes.Over 5 million Canadian still use tobacco, and tobacco use costs almost $4.4 billion in annual direct health care costs in Canada.

Plain packaging measureswouldregulate the size and shape of products,and require a uniform,standardized colour and font onall packages.Research has shown thatplainpackaging measures, including the removal of logos, textures, colours and brand images, helpsmaketobaccoproducts less attractive and therefore less appealing, including to youth.

The World Health Organization hosts World No Tobacco Dayannually, and this yearorganizers are calling on countries to get ready forplain packaging.Today's announcementbrings Canadaintocloseralignment with countries likeAustraliaand the United Kingdom,whichhave already introduced plain packagingrequirements.

Theconsultation periodwillcontinueuntil August31, 2016. Canadians are encouraged toparticipate and share their views on potential plain packaging elements by completing theonline questionnaireorsubmitting thembyregular mailor email.The information gathered during the consultation process will be considered in the development of new regulations for these products.

Quick Facts

  • Despite decades of efforts, each year, 87,000 Canadians become daily smokers. There are still over 5 million tobacco users in Canada, including 4.2 million current smokers.
  • The vast majority of smokers begin by adolescence or young adulthood. In Canada, 85% of adult daily smokershadsmoked their first cigarette by the age of 18.
  • Previously introduced measuresrequiringthat pictorial health warnings cover 75% of the front and back panels of cigarette and little cigar packages will still be in placewhen plain packagingmeasures areintroduced.

Quotes"I don't believe tobacco companies should be allowed to build brand loyalty with children, for a product that could kill them. Research shows that plain packaging of tobacco products is an effective way to deter people from starting to smoke and will bolster our efforts to reduce tobacco use in Canada.Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Canada, and we are committed to fighting this issue from all sides."Jane PhilpottMinister of Health

"Plain packaging is a key tobacco control measure to protect youth and to advance public health. Tobacco packages should not be mini-billboards used for tobacco promotion.We strongly support implementation of plain packaging in Canada, just as so many other countries have done or are in the process of doing."Rob CunninghamCanadian Cancer Society

Associated LinksConsultation on potential measures to regulate tobacco packages and products

Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/media

SOURCE Health Canada



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