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Health warnings on individual cigarettes proposed

14 Jun 2022. Canada has become the first country worldwide to propose written health warnings on individual cigarettes, reports Reuters.

A federal minister has said that Canada would be proposing health warnings to be printed on individual cigarettes with a public consultation period spanning 75 days that has just gotten underway. Canada was already a pioneer when it came to making picture warnings on cigarette packages compulsory back in 2001. According to Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett the measure has now become stale for the 13% of Canadians who smoke regularly, reports Reuters.

"Adding health warnings on individual tobacco products will help ensure that these essential messages reach people, including the youth, who often access cigarettes one at a time in social situations sidestepping the information printed on a package," she said.

A spokesperson for Rothmans Benson & Hedges, the Canadian unit of Philip Morris International (PM.N), said the new proposal would not make smokers quit.

"We believe that better choices start with better information, and the millions of current adult smokers should be given access to the appropriate information about alternatives," they said.

On the other hand, Rob Cunningham of the Canadian Cancer Society welcomed the measures and said: "A warning on every cigarette simply cannot be ignored, especially considering that there are more than 20 billion cigarettes sold each year in Canada.