Canada’s health department has announced that warning labels would soon be printed directly on cigarettes, as per a report in the BBC. Each cigarette in the new package will include a warning label that reads, “Poison in every puff” and “Cigarettes cause cancer.” The initiative, which aims to assist people in quitting the habit, was initially introduced by the health ministry, Health Canada, last year.
The rules will go into effect on August 1. Regular-size cigarettes have until July 31, 2024, to put the warnings on single smokes, while small cigars with tipping paper and tubes must do so by the end of April 2025, as per the outlet.
Health Canada stated in a statement on Wednesday that the new laws “will make it virtually impossible to avoid health warnings” on tobacco products. Cigarette packets in Canada already include warning labels. The Health Ministry stated that it intends to expand it by printing extra warning labels within the packaging and adding new exterior warning messages.
According to Health Canada, the policy seeks to reduce tobacco usage to less than five per cent by 2035. New laws also aim to strengthen health-related visual representations on cigarette packets.
Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health, said in a statement, “Tobacco use continues to kill 48,000 Canadians each year. We are taking action by being the first country in the world to label individual cigarettes with health warning messages.”
She continued, “This bold step will make health warning messages virtually unavoidable, and together with updated graphic images displayed on the package, will provide a real and startling reminder of the health consequences of smoking. We will continue to do whatever it takes to help more people in Canada stop smoking and help young people to live healthy tobacco-free lives.”