The Lung Association

The Lung Association

May 26, 2009 12:00 ET

Canadian Lung Association Applauds Government's Changes to Tobacco Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 26, 2009) - The Lung Association today congratulated Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq and the Government of Canada on its announcement of imminent changes to the federal Tobacco Act that include:

- Mandating that cigarillos and blunt wraps be sold in packages of no less than 20;

- Banning the use of flavours and additives in tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigarillos and blunt wraps (cigar rolling paper);

- Prohibiting the graphic description or depiction of flavours in tobacco;

- Banning all tobacco advertising and promotion in print and electronic media that may be viewed and read by youth.

"Strong measures such as these not only will protect Canada's children from the harmful effects of smoking, but will also serve to curtail industry tactics aimed at marketing their products to the youth of this country," said Paul Thomey, Chair of Tobacco Policy for The Canadian Lung Association, "It has been 12 years since the Tobacco Act was revised and we believe that these measures take a positive - and necessary - step forward in the fight against smoking."

An estimated 37,000 Canadians will die this year from smoking-related diseases and approximately 1,000 die annually from second-hand smoke. Smoking and tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of lung disease and death in Canada. Presently in Canada, nearly 1 in five (19%) of Canadians are smokers.

"Our ground-breaking 2008 report on smoking cessation in Canada - "Making Quit Happen" - showed that 90% of Canadian smokers want to quit," said Nora Sobolov, President and CEO of The Canadian Lung Association, "Measures such as the ones announced today, combined with greater access to smoking cessation medications and programs, will ensure we continue to make progress in lowering our rate of smoking in Canada".

Today's announcement about changes to the Tobacco Act builds on the government's commitment to funding the National Lung Health Framework - Canada's first National Action Plan on Lung Health. Under the Framework, policy development and change is identified as a critical way of improving the lung health of Canadians and of lowering rising incidence of lung disease in Canada. These changes to the Tobacco Act are further indications that Canada wants to be a key leader in the fight against lung disease.

Established in 1900, The Lung Association is one of Canada's oldest and most respected health charities, and the leading national organization for science-based information, research, education, support programs and advocacy on lung heath issues.

To read the Making Quit Happen report, please visit www.lung.ca/tobacco.

Contact Information

  • The Lung Association
    Cameron Bishop
    Director of Government Affairs and Media Relations
    613-569-6411, ext. 223