Under the new rules, every cigarette sold in Canada must carry a separate health warning stating that “cigarettes cause impotence” and cancer and contain “poison in every puff,” reports RTE.
The new rules, which were first announced in May, are a world first.
King size cigarettes with new individual labels are expected to be available in stores within a year, followed by regular size cigarettes in early 2025.
Warning labels are “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,” Canada’s former addictions minister, Carolyn Bennett, has previously said, reports RTE.
The Canadian government notes that some young people, particularly those at risk of tobacco addiction, start smoking after being offered cigarettes instead of health warning packs.
In 2000, Canada became the first country to issue graphic warnings on cigarette packs – to raise awareness of the health risks of tobacco use – with gruesome images of diseased hearts and lungs, reports RTE.
The prevalence of smoking has been declining over the past two decades.
But smoking still kills 48,000 Canadians each year, according to government statistics, and accounts for nearly half of the country’s health care costs related to substance use.
Ottawa aims to reduce the number of smokers in the country to 5%, or about 2 million people, by 2035 – from about 13% today, reports RTE.
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