Press Release

April 7, 2011

It's PLAINLY a good idea

Health groups praise Australia for legislation to end package-based cigarette promotion

Canadian health groups today praised the Australian health minister, Nicola Roxon, for introducing legislation that will require plain packaging of cigarettes sold in Australia and will increase the size of health warnings to over 75% of the front and 90% of the back of the package.

"The Australian government has moved ahead of every other country with respect to protecting its citizens from tobacco marketing," said Melodie Tilson, Director of Policy with the Non-Smokers' Rights Association. "As the first country to stand firm against the political pressure and threats made by tobacco companies, Australia's leadership will have global benefit."

"The benefits of plain and standardized packaging for tobacco products are well established," said Cynthia Callard, Executive Director of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. "This is a health measure supported at the international level by the World Health Organization's global public health treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control."

"Health Canada's proposals to increase the size of health warnings on packages sold in Canada to 75% of the package front and back will have an enormous beneficial health impact," said Ms. Tilson, "But the impact would be even greater if tobacco promotions were simultaneously removed from packaging." Health Canada recently conducted research which confirmed that health warnings were more effective on plain packaging. "We encourage the next government to give priority to strengthening new health warnings by removing branding from tobacco packaging."

The groups noted that plain and standardized packaging is consistent with the Harper government's goals for the renewal of the federal tobacco control strategy. The Minister of Health, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, announced
on March 25th that her department is looking for "innovative approaches" to tobacco control and is seeking to "ensure Canada remains a world leader in tobacco control."


For further  information: 

     Melodie Tilson 613 230 4211
     Cynthia Callard, 613 233 4878

Australian government release