Ottawa, ON – Tobacco products in the UK and France will no longer have attractive branding features that appeal to youth and children. As of May 20, 2016 both will implement plain and standardized packaging regulations that were approved last March.
“We applaud these nations for taking a stand against tobacco,” says Debra Lynkowski, CEO of The Canadian Lung Association. “It’s very encouraging to see others follow in the footsteps of Australia, which introduced standardized packaging in 2012 and has already seen a decline in smoking rates.”
Plain packaging regulations aim to eliminate any promotional aspects of packaging, curb deception messages, enhance the effectiveness of health warnings and, ultimately, reduce tobacco use.
“We are hopeful that standardized packaging will reduce the rate of children who take up smoking,” she adds. “We urge the Canadian Government to continue their work towards a future free of tobacco among youth and children.”
The international staggered implementation of plain packaging comes in response to the guidelines developed by the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which recommend plain packaging worldwide.
“We know steps are being taken on the Canadian front to have this implemented and we are excited by the momentum the topic is gaining.”
In Canada, plain packaging was first recommended in 1994. Its importance was most recently voiced last November with the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to the Minister of Health, in which plain packaging was presented as top priority.