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Canada Joins Growing Global Movement to Require Plain Packaging for Tobacco Products

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
May 01, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Canada today has given a major boost to the growing, global movement to require that tobacco products be sold in plain packaging by issuing final regulations to implement plain packaging starting in November. Altogether, 14 countries have now implemented or adopted plain packaging, and such measures are under consideration in more than a dozen other countries.

Countries are adopting plain packaging as part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce tobacco use, which kills more than 7 million people worldwide each year. Plain packaging requires tobacco products to be sold in drab packaging, free of the colorful logos and other branding that attract kids and mislead consumers about the health risks of tobacco use. Australia implemented the world’s first plain packaging law in 2012. It has subsequently been upheld against tobacco industry challenges in both Australian and international courts and helped significantly reduce smoking in Australia.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauds Canada on its adoption of plain packaging and its longtime leadership in the fight against tobacco. Canada was the first country to require graphic health warnings on cigarette packs.

Including Canada, 14 countries have finalized requirements for plain packaging. The countries are Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Norway, Hungary, Slovenia, Turkey, Uruguay, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Israel. At least 15 other countries and territories are working on plain packaging requirements.

Canada’s adoption of plain packaging should spur more countries to take this important step to reduce tobacco use and save lives.