Starting November 9th, 2019, cigarette packaging across Canada will have plain and standardized packaging, according to a new regulation that was implemented today. The government says that this is an effort to "reduce the appeal and attractiveness of tobacco products, especially to youth."
Canadian Minister of Health, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, says that cigarette packages are "powerful promotional vehicles" for youth and adolescents who might be more inclined to smoke based on brand recognition.
Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Norway, and New Zealand have already implemented the same regulations on cigarette packaging to varying degrees of success. Hungary, Slovenia, Uruguay, and today, Canada, will be the next countries to have plain and standardized cigarette packaging.
Health warnings will remain on the packages but with an improved design to better match the plain packaging.
The packaging will be a drab brown colour that removes any distinctive features. The text will also be standardized by font, size, and colour. Cigarette wrappings and filters will also be plain and standardized.
No word yet from the tobacco companies who have to deal with these upcoming regulations, but no doubt that they are disappointed with the government's decision.
Overall, the Canadian Government intends to curb tobacco use by 5% by 2035. They hope that a new generation of Canadians can grow up tobacco-free.
A senior member of the Canadian Cancer Society said that this initiative is proof that Canada is a global leader when it comes to regulating harmful tobacco use. According to a recent survey, 18% of Canadians 15 years and older have used a tobacco product in the past 30 days.
Other studies have indicated that plain and standardized packaging with graphic warnings is significantly more effective at deterring the public from purchasing cigarettes, according to the government's report.