A Review of Cigarette Marketing in Canada - 5th Edition - Summer 2006


Retail Discount SKOAL Short-Takes Marlboro? New packaging tobacco stats

Something to chew over
Skoal smoke-less tobacco advertising blitz

Advertisements like the one found in the Vancouver Westender on May 25, 2006, mark the beginning of the return of tobacco advertising. First out the gate is kid-friendly flavoured chewing tobacco.

Because tobacco companies stopped advertising in newspapers and magazines after October 1, 2003, you may have thought that such advertisements were illegal.  Not so.   Under the 1997 Tobacco Act, newspaper and magazine advertising is allowed in those publications having at least 85% adult readers. The law also allows tobacco companies to send advertisements to adult Canadians at their home

Although this includes virtually every magazine & newspaper in Canada, tobacco companies are not currently advertising in them. It is understood that they are refraining from doing so while they are arguing before the courts that the Tobacco Act should be struck down because it is, in effect, a total ban on advertising.  The National Smokeless Tobacco Company (presumed to still be a subsidiary of the United States Smokeless Tobacco Company) is not in court, and is not a traditional ally of Canada's major tobacco companies. 

The advertisements for SKOAL ran in the free entertainment weeklies that are distributed throughout Canada's major urban centres. Although National Smokeless must report its marketing activities and sales volumes to Health Canada, no information on its direct mail promotions have yet been made public.

The advertisement for count-em NINE flavours of SKOAL, pictured below, was provided to us by the parent of an 18 year old University student to whom they were sent unsolicited. The same student also received a separate mailing promoting Access tobacco pouches - including happy tips on how to use it. .

Canada is one of the very few industrialized countires where tobacco advertisements, such as these, can be placed in newspapers with no health warnings.  The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, to which Canada is a member, requires health warnings on any permitted advertisements, but Canada has not yet implemented any regulations requiring these warnings.


Additional information:

Smokeless tobacco in Canada: deterring market development. Robert G Wyckham
 Health Canada's proposals for warnings for tobacco advertisements

Filter-Tips is produced by Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.
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