Plain packaging rules for tobacco products to take effect in November

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – In an effort to reduce smoking rates and prevent young people from taking up the habit, Health Canada has finalized its regulations for plain packaging.

Beginning in November, all cigarettes and tobacco products will have to be sold in packs that are absent of anything that could be perceived as fun.

The strict new rules will force companies to eliminate bright colours and fancy logos from their packs. Instead, they will all have the same drab brown colour and the brand and type of product will be printed with the same basic font.

Most of the packaging will be covered by a massive warning sign and picture of things like diseased gums or a cancer patient.

“It makes it less appealing to youth and Canadian Cancer Society have said today that it’s actually the best regulation in the world,” says Pam Damoff, the parliamentary secretary for health.

Tobacco companies claim this does nothing to reduce smoking and only helps illegal cigarette production.

Federal statistics show that in 2017, 18 per cent of Canadians over the age of 15 said they’d used tobacco in the previous month, an increase of 15 per cent from 2015.

Plain packaging is a part of a larger strategy to reduce smoking rates in Canada to five per cent by 2035. There are currently 4 million smokers across the country.

-With files from the Canadian Press

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