Press Release


Canadian Cancer Society●Canadian Council for Tobacco Control●  Canadian Dental Association● Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada●Non-Smokers' Rights Association●Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.

Health Groups Welcome Measures to Protect Children from Tobacco Marketing

(Ottawa - September 17, 2008)  Member agencies of the Canadian Coalition for Action on Tobacco welcomed today’s announcement that the marketing of flavoured cigarillos would be addressed through new tobacco regulations and legislation.

 “Tobacco companies have used loopholes, candy flavours and fancy packaging to lure children into nicotine addiction,” said Canadian Medical Association President, Dr. Robert Ouellet.  “The proposals for new tighter regulation and legislation announced today by the Prime Minister will close many of the loopholes that have given tobacco companies access to our youth."

 Canadian tobacco laws have historically imposed different rules on cigars than on cigarettes, and have allowed little cigars to be exempt from minimum package size and to have less stringent health warning messages. Over the past few years, tobacco companies have exploited this distinction and have introduced single-sale cigarette-sized cigars with child friendly flavours.

 “These products are affordable for children, attractive to children – and very harmful for children,” said Cynthia Callard, Executive Director of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. “Measures like those announced today are urgently required.”

 Today’s announcement of new restrictions on tobacco marketing was warmly received by the health agencies. “This is a significant step towards the comprehensive ban on tobacco products recommended by the World Health Organization, and a necessary response to the renewed advertising of tobacco companies,” said Melodie Tilson, policy director of the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association.

 “We call on all Canadian politicians to support these measures being put rapidly into law,” said Dr. Ouellet.

 The Canadian Coalition for Action on Tobacco is national coalition of health organizations. Members supporting this initiative include Action on Smoking and Health, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control, the Canadian Dental Association, the Canadian Lung Association, Canadian Medical Association, the Coalition québécoise pour le contrôle du tabac, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Non-Smokers' Rights Association, the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco and Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.

 For information:         

Lucie Boileau, Canadian Medical Association 800 663-7336 or 613 731-8610 ext. 1266

Cynthia Callard, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada 613 233 488

Melodie Tilson, Non-Smokers Rights Association 613 230 4211 x 3

Rob Cunningham, Canadian Cancer Society, 613-565-2522, ext. 305