Support Warnings on Individual Cigarettes, Provide Your Feedback Now

A photo of cigarettes with the text "Health warnings on individual cigarettes will help deter youth and young adults from smoking. Support Health Canada's proposal."

You may have heard: Health Canada has proposed that health warnings be printed on individual cigarettes.

This means every time one is taken out of a pack, users will see a warning on their cigarette. Health Canada has said the reason is to ensure that people who share or borrow cigarettes can still see the messages even if they don’t see the package, making it impossible to avoid health warnings.

Health Canada’s proposal includes updated warnings on tobacco packages as well. The Protect Canadian Kids campaign, supported by the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Lung Association, Heart and Stroke, and Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, not only endorses the proposal, it’s also asking for stronger regulations.

The campaign asks that health warnings be required at the top of front and back surfaces, instead of having the option of putting health warnings at the bottom of the packages.

So why is there a push to deter people from smoking, particularly youth and young adults?

Here are five reasons smoking is harmful:

  • Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in British Columbia and in Canada, killing more than 6,000 British Columbians annually. [i]
  • Nicotine is harmful to healthy adolescent brain development. [ii]
  • Tobacco use can lead to addiction, as well as mood disorder later in adulthood. [iii]
  • Smoking causes tooth decay and gum disease,and increases the risk of oral cancer. [iv]
  • Smoking increases the risk of heart, lung and respiratory diseases. [v]

Health Canada’s public consultation on the proposed health-related labelling is open until August 25. Now is the time to support health-warnings on each cigarette, as well as stronger regulation of warnings on packages.

Use this template to write a letter supporting the new warning labels, as well as a call for stronger regulation for package labelling.   

References:

[i] Office of the Provincial Health Officer. Taking the Pulse of the Population: An Update on the Health of British Columbians. (2019) www.health.gov.bc.ca/pho

[ii] ‘Nicotine and the Developing Human: A Neglected Element in the Electronic Cigarette Debate’. AJPM. 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2015.01.015

[iii] Fraser Health. Tobacco and youth. (2022) https://www.fraserhealth.ca/health-topics-a-to-z/children-and-youth/substance-use-in-children-and-youth/tobacco-and-youth#.YvvKdnbMKUk

[iv] Fraser Health. Tobacco and youth. (2022) https://www.fraserhealth.ca/health-topics-a-to-z/children-and-youth/substance-use-in-children-and-youth/tobacco-and-youth#.YvvKdnbMKUk

[v] Health Canada. Risks of Smoking. (2022) https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/smoking-tobacco/effects-smoking/smoking-your-body/risks-smoking.html

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