Graphic Health Warning for Smoking in Canada
The 8 pictures shown above are photocopies of the cigarette package bought
in the province of Quebec, Canada,
in October 2007.
Tobacco product packaging displays health information messages on diseases
caused by tobacco use or
tips on quitting smoking, which is printed on the inside slider or leaflet.
The regulation that allowed for
these images became law in June 2000, making Canada the first country in
the world to implement
such strong labelling and reporting measures.
The United Nations health agency called on governments to require that
all tobacco packages include pictures
to warn consumers of the ill effects of tobacco use, which kills more than
five million people every year. Studies
reveal that even among people who believe tobacco is harmful, few understand
its specific health risks. Health
warnings on tobacco packages are a simple, cheap and effective strategy
that can vastly reduce tobacco use and
save lives. Studies on the country of Brazil, Canada, Singapore and Thailand,
in which the use of warnings
employing both pictures and text was carried out, reveal remarkably consistent
findings on their positive impact.
Source: 2009.5.29 WHO
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Tobacco Product Labelling 2011
Graphic tobacco product labelling requirements were first adopted in 2000
to increase awareness of the health
and health effects associated with tobacco use. It establishes the current
requirements for the health-related
information that must be displayed on tobacco products sold in Canada.
It includes health warning messages,
health information messages and information about their toxic emissions
or constituents. Research has shown
that while these messages were effective in raising awareness of the health
influence associated with tobacco
use, they have reached their maximum potential. The proposed regulations
would require the display of 16 new
health warning messages, 8 health information messages, and 4 toxic emissions
statements on cigarette and
little cigar packages.
The labels combine strong images with messages that are noticeable, informative
and credible. In September 2011,
the Tobacco Products Labelling Regulations (Cigarettes and Little Cigars)
came into force with strengthened
labelling requirements for cigarettes and little cigar packages. Key features
of the proposed regulations include:
Source: Health Canada
- graphic health warnings that cover 75% of the front and back of packages
- a pan-Canadian quitline number and web address;
- health information messages enhanced with colour; and
- easy to understand toxic emissions statements.
Tobacco packaging warning messages are warning messages that appear on
the packaging of cigarettes
and other tobacco products concerning the health effects of those products.
They have been implemented
in an effort to enhance the public's awareness of the harmful effects of
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This article was written and revised in October 2006 and October 2011,
by Junhaku Miyamoto, M.D.