News release – May 1, 2019

Despite decades of effort to reduce tobacco use, it remains the leading preventable cause of premature death and disease in Canada, killing half of all long-term users. More than 4 million Canadians still use tobacco—about 17% of the population. The vast majority of smokers begin smoking by adolescence or young adulthood.

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced new regulations for plain and standardized appearance of tobacco packages and products will begin to come into force on November 9, 2019. These packages and products are powerful promotional vehicles. Reducing the appeal of tobacco products is an important step toward protecting Canadians, particularly youth, from inducements to using tobacco products and from the consequent dependence on them.

The new Tobacco Products Regulations (Plain and Standardized Appearance) are an important milestone under Canada’s Tobacco Strategy, which will protect Canadians from tobacco-related death and disease. The Strategy aims to drive down tobacco use to 5% of the Canadian population by 2035. This will mean fewer Canadians will start smoking, more Canadians will quit, and a new generation of healthier Canadians will have a greater awareness of how important it is to never use tobacco products.