TORONTO — Every individual cigarette sold in Canada will carry a warning message under the terms of a new federal regulation intended to curb smoking, especially among young people, the country’s minister of mental health and addictions announced on Friday.
The individual warning label, said to be the first in the world, will supplement the warning messages already printed on cigarette boxes in Canada.
Young people who share cigarettes and don’t read the package labels would be able to see the health warning on individual cigarettes, said Rob Cunningham, a senior policy analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society.
Smoking is on the decline in the Canada, according to 2020 data from Statistics Canada, the national census agency, which showed a drop between 2015 and 2019. But more than 20 billion cigarettes are sold each year in Canada, according to the Canadian Cancer Society and most of Canada’s 4.7 million smokers smoke cigarettes every day.
Though the new regulations have not been adopted, their approval by Canada’s health minister is certain.
Health Canada, the nation’s health agency, is proposing that the warning, “Poison in every puff” be printed on the cigarette paper around the filter.
Cigarette boxes and packaging are also getting an upgrade under the new regulations, which will require additional health risks to listed on the box, as well as new photos of ailments linked to smoking.