February 1, 2012
Federal crack down on flavoured tobacco welcomed.
Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada (PSC) congratulated Health Canada for strengthening its enforcement efforts against the marketing of youth-friendly tobacco products.
"Health Canada's seizure of 25 million flavoured little cigars is a reassuring signal of this government's commitment to ensure that recent changes to the "Tobacco Act" are effective at protecting young Canadians from this form of marketing," said Cynthia Callard, PSC's executive director.
Earlier in January, PSC had called attention to the continued marketing of flavoured tobacco products.
"This significant enforcement action will help ensure that the letter of the Tobacco Act will be better observed," said Callard. "Other actions, including regulatory amendments, may also be required if the spirit of the law is also to be applied."
Although Health Canada did not indicate in its press release regarding the seizure on what basis they had seized the products in question, PSC believes that it may be related to the products not meeting the weight standard of 1.4 grams. Cigars which weigh less than 1.4 grams may not contain specified flavourings or additives and must be packaged in units of no less than 20, those which weigh more than 1.4 grams may contain the additives and may be sold in single units.
Last month PSC called for all flavourings to be banned in tobacco products sold in Canada, and for no tobacco products to be exempt from requirements for effective health warnings.
"We look forward to working with Health Canada to fully resolve the problem of flavoured, unlabelled tobacco." said Ms. Callard.