Canada will have a health warning on every cigarette!

Under the Tobacco Products Appearance, Packaging and Labeling Regulations (TPAPLR), which came into effect on August 1, labels such as «poison in every puff» and «cigarettes cause impotence» will appear on the rim of all tobacco products, from small cigars to pipes. The measure is part of Canada’s Tobacco Control Strategy, whose main goal is to reduce tobacco use to less than 5% by 2035.

The Government of Canada is seriously considering how to help smokers quit, protect young people and non-tobacco users from the lure of the habit, and generally reduce the appeal of nicotine. Various methods are being used, including anti-tobacco advertising and graphic health warnings on tobacco products (first implemented in 2000), to raise awareness of the health risks associated with smoking.

A bit of statistics: in 1965, the national smoking rate was 50%, and today the number of Canadians who use nicotine regularly is 13%. At the same time, spending on tobacco use prevention and treatment equals 47% (6 billion dollars!) of all health care spending on substance use.

Smoking continues to kill 48,000 Canadians each year, according to Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett, but putting warning labels on every cigarette would make health messages almost inevitable and could have a real preventative effect.

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