Press Release

December 15, 2008

Action on Smoking and Health, the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control, the Canadian Dental Association, the Canadian Medical Association, the Coalition québécoise pour le contrôle du tabac, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco and Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.


Action on Election Promise Urgently Needed
Health Groups Call on Prime Minister to Curb Tobacco Marketing


 (Ottawa – December 15, 2008) – A tobacco advertisement in Friday’s Ottawa Citizen – placed right beside the comics – is the most blatant example of the urgent need for the federal government to accelerate promised limits on tobacco company marketing, say Canadian Health Groups.

“I was shocked to see advertisements for tobacco products side-by-side with the comic page,” said Dr. Robert Ouellet, President of the Canadian Medical Association. “Of all the pages in the newspaper, this is the one most directed at our youth.”

Ottawa emergency physician, Joe Kozar, agreed and expressed his concern as a parent: “That's the one page of the paper my kids read."

Tobacco advertising was once banned in Canada, but after two lengthy legal challenges returned to Canadian publications late last year. After the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the federal law in the summer of 2007, then federal Health Minister, Tony Clement, responded to calls for a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising. In September, 2008, the Prime Minister promised that rules against tobacco advertising would be tightened.

Canada is one of a handful of developed countries which has not yet implemented a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising. “A recent review by the World Health Organization showed that 83 nations had more extensive restrictions on tobacco advertising than Canada,” explained Dr. Atul Kapur, President of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.

“We believe that all parliamentarians would support swift passage of a law to address tobacco marketing,” said Dr. Ouellet. “We urge the government to ensure that all Canadians, and especially youth, are protected by introducing such legislation as soon as Parliament returns.”

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For information:
Cynthia Callard, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.  
613 233 4878
Lucie Boileau, Canadian Medical Association  
613 731 8610 x 1266