Health Canada’s new regulations that require warning labels to be printed on individual cigarettes are set to come into effect this summer.
The move that was first announced last year makes the country the first in the world to take that step aimed at helping people quit the habit.
The wording on every cigarette ranges from warnings about harming children and damaging organs, to causing impotence and leukemia. One caution says smoking is “poison in every puff.”
They will be written in English and French.
Health Canada says the strategy is part of Canada’s move to reach less than five per cent tobacco use by 2035 and is part of new regulations that will also strengthen health-related graphic images displayed on packages of tobacco.
The regulations will come into force on Aug. 1 and will be implemented through a phased approach within the year.
The regulator says king-size cigarettes will be the first to feature the warnings and will be sold in stores by the end of July 2024, followed by regular-size cigarettes and little cigars with tipping paper and tubes, by the end of April 2025.
Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett says tobacco use kills 48,000 Canadians every year but it will soon be impossible to avoid health warnings on every cigarette.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 31, 2023.