Effective today, tobacco manufacturers and importers will now be restricted to distributing and selling cigarette and little cigar packages with new health warning messages and other labelling changes.
Changes under the Tobacco Products Labelling Regulations (Cigarettes and Little Cigars), introduced by the Government of Canada last September, include larger, more noticeable health warning messages, now covering 75 per cent of the front and back of packages.
Each warning includes a reference to a Canada-wide, toll-free quitline number and web address, which link smokers to provincial and territorial counselling and resources to help them quit smoking.
Some warnings include messages from Canadians whose lives and health have been negatively affected by tobacco use.
Other labelling changes include new health information and information on how to quit smoking located on the inside of packs, enhanced with colour and graphics. The sides of packs now feature new statements about toxic chemicals contained in tobacco smoke.
Retailers will have until 18 June 2012 to sell their inventory displaying the old health warnings. As of 19 June 2012, only packages of cigarettes and little cigars that display the new health warnings can be legally sold at retail. (pi)