Amendments would close the loophole that allowed the marketing of certain flavoured cigars
March 6, 2015
Delivering on a commitment made by the Prime Minister, the Government of Canada today announced proposed regulatory amendments to the Tobacco Act to further restrict flavours used to market cigars that appeal to youth.
Despite success in reducing smoking rates among youth to a record low, surveillance shows young Canadians are still using flavoured cigars. This is why the Government of Canada is taking action to further restrict the use of flavours in most types of cigars marketed to youth.
The amendments would build on the restrictions introduced in 2009 through the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act, limiting the marketing of tobacco products and making them less accessible and attractive to youth. Since that time, however, Health Canada has observed the introduction of resized cigars in the same flavours as those that were on the market before the 2009 amendments to the Tobacco Act.
The proposed amendments would apply to these newly introduced cigars and reflect comments from stakeholders and the public received during consultations last fall, and have been pre-published in Canada Gazette, Part 1 for a 30 day public comment period.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Canada, responsible for more than 37,000 deaths each year.
Canada is a world leader in reducing smoking rates.
Canada was the first country in world to ban flavours in tobacco that made them attractive to kids.
The 2013 WHO Report on Tobacco has Canada as one of highest achieving nations in health messages.
Smoking is at an all-time low in Canada, dropping to 15% in 2013.
However, the 2012-2013 Youth Smoking Survey found that among youth (grade 6 to 12) reporting having used at least one tobacco product in the last 30 days, two in five (40%) reported using a flavoured little cigar or a flavoured cigar during the same period.
The proposed amendments would prohibit most flavours and selected additives in cigars weighing more than 1.4 grams but no more than 6 grams, as well as in cigars that use tipping paper or do not feature a wrapper fitted in spiral form.
“Our Government is taking strong action to protect Canadians from the dangers of tobacco use. By further restricting the marketing of flavoured tobacco products that appeal to youth, our goal is to maintain the success we have achieved in reducing smoking rates in Canada to among the lowest in the world.”
Minister of Health
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health