Individual cigarettes will soon have warning labels on them in Canada, the first country in the world to do this.
Health Canada, the health department, announced this move last year to help people stop smoking.
Starting from August 1, king-size cigarettes will have to display the warnings on each stick, as required by the federal mandate. Regular-size cigarettes and little cigars with tipping paper and tubes will follow suit by July 31, 2024 and April 30, 2025 respectively.
“Tobacco use is responsible for 48,000 deaths in Canada every year,” said Carolyn Bennett, the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, on Wednesday.
“These warnings will make it hard to ignore the health risks of smoking, and they will complement the updated graphic images on the package. We are committed to helping more Canadians quit smoking and preventing young people from starting this harmful habit,” she said.
The warnings – in both English and French – include “every puff is poison”, “children suffer from tobacco smoke”, and “smoking causes impotence”
Here is yet another possible way to rewrite the text:
“Health Canada said the strategy aims to lower tobacco use to less than 5 percent by 2035. New regulations also enhance the graphic images related to health on tobacco packages.
Doug Roth, the CEO of the Heart & Stroke charity, said the bold measure will make it impossible to overlook the dangers to lung health.
The Canadian Cancer Society said the measure will discourage smoking and make cigarettes less attractive, thus avoiding cancer and other diseases.
Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society, said health messages will be delivered in every puff and during every smoking break. Canada, he added, will have the best tobacco health warning system in the world.
Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship are prohibited in Canada, and cigarette packs have had warnings since 1972.
In 2001, Canada was the first country to oblige tobacco companies to put picture warnings on cigarette packages and inserts with health messages.