Health Canada

Health Canada

April 20, 2010 10:19 ET

Government of Canada Delivers on Promise to Protect Kids from Tobacco

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 20, 2010) - Today, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, met with students from St. Joseph's High School in Nepean to talk about the risks of smoking and to highlight Government of Canada action to protect youth from tobacco.

"Our government has delivered on our promise to protect young people from unacceptable tobacco marketing practices," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Since passing amendments to the Tobacco Act last October, tobacco products that target children are less accessible and less affordable to Canada's youth."

The Minister highlighted that on April 6th — two weeks ago today — the retail sale of little cigars and blunt wraps packaged in fewer than 20 units were no longer permitted. This change ends an industry practice of selling these products as singles or in small-quantity "kiddy-packs" that are attractive to youth.

The Act, which was passed by the House of Commons and Senate and became law on October 8, 2009, included a transition period for retailers and manufacturers to adjust to some of the changes.

The next milestone is July 5, at which point the retail sale, including duty-free sale, of cigarettes, little cigars and blunt wraps that contain any of the specified additives (including most flavouring agents) will no longer be permitted.

The Act also extended restrictions on the advertising of tobacco products that came into effect immediately following Royal Assent of the legislation in October. It removed an exception in the Tobacco Act that allowed advertising to be placed in publications with an adult readership of at least 85 per cent. This measure responds to a recent resurgence of tobacco advertising in free entertainment weeklies and daily newspapers that are accessible to youth.

Health Canada has kept Canadian retailer associations informed about the new requirements.

In addition, Health Canada's Tobacco Inspectors are promoting and monitoring compliance with the new provisions as they come into law.

For more information on the changes to the Tobacco Act, please see our Fact Sheet ( http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/legislation/federal/2009_fact-renseignements-eng.php ) and Frequently Asked Questions ( http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/legislation/federal/amend_faq-modif-eng.php ).

Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at www.healthcanada.gc.ca/media

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Health Canada
    613-957-2983
    or
    Public Inquiries:
    613-957-2991
    1-866-225-0709
    or
    Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
    Federal Minister of Health
    Josee Bellemare
    613-957-0200