OTTAWA: Heart and Stroke commends Health Canada's bold move to introduce strengthened regulations for the packaging of tobacco products, making Canada a world leader in this area.
This is an important part of the new federal tobacco strategy, introduced in May 2018, which commits to driving down tobacco use to 5% of the population by 2035.
We applaud Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor for taking a strong stand. Tobacco products should not be appealing. Making these deadly products less attractive will support more people to quit smoking and will reduce their appeal to youth and others who may decide not to begin smoking, said Yves Savoie, CEO, Heart & Stroke.
The new regulations will standardize tobacco packaging, including colours and fonts. All packages must be a 'slide and shell' format which will provide maximum space for health warnings. These changes will strip products of the design elements that have long been used to attract new users and create brand loyalty.
Cigarette size will also be regulated and slim and super slim cigarettes will be banned. These products have been specifically marketed to young women and falsely give the impression of being less harmful because of their smaller and delicate form.
In Canada, 45,000 people 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.
Our next challenge is vaping. E-cigarette use by non-smokers is threatening the gains we have made in decades of tobacco control work by creating a new generation addicted to nicotine. Heart & Stroke is looking forward to strong regulations to address the increase in youth vaping rates, added Savoie.
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