Ontario is banning the sale of flavoured cigarillos to make them less accessible, less affordable, and less attractive to young people.
Amendments to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, which come into force on July 1, 2010, will prohibit the sale and distribution of flavoured cigarillos, while restricting the sale of menthol and unflavoured cigarillos to packages of at least 20, the same as cigarettes.
Prior to these amendments, cigarillos in flavours like pina colada, grape, and chocolate were sold in brightly coloured "kiddie packs" sometimes for less than $2 at convenience stores. By adding flavours, using colours in the wrapping and packaging, and selling them in small packages, these products were targeting youth
Restricting the sale of cigarillos will help promote a smoke-free Ontario, especially for youth. Ontario has one of the toughest anti-smoking laws in North America.
"Flavours like grape and strawberry are not meant for products like flavoured cigarillos that harm the health of our children and youth. Today’s announcement is an important part of our commitment to preventing vulnerable children and youth from starting to smoke."
– Margarett Best, Minister of Health Promotion
"One of the most dangerous things we can do is to allow products like candy flavoured tobacco products marketed towards kids to go un-checked. By working with Minister Best and my colleagues in the Ontario Legislature, we have all made this day possible."
– Dave Levac, MPP, Brant
"The Canadian Cancer Society congratulates the Government of Ontario for implementing legislation that will ban the sale of flavoured cigarillos. This law will protect the health of young people by eliminating a product that entices youth to experiment with smoking. By stopping the sale of cigarillos with fruit, candy, ice cream and other flavours, the Government has done the right thing."
– Martin Kabat, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division
- According to Health Canada, "Reported sales of little cigars have increased significantly between 2001 and 2007. Sales of 53 million units in 2001 increased to 276 million units in 2006, and then to 403 million units in 2007."
- Cigarillo products are marketed in a manner that is attractive to youth by adding flavours, using colours in the wrapping and packaging, and selling them in small packages, which makes them cheaper.
- Maximum fines for the sale of improperly packaged cigarillos and flavoured cigarillos range from $2,000 to $50,000. Maximum corporate fines range from $100,000 to $300,000.