The Government of Canada has delivered on its promise to protect young people from tobacco industry marketing practices that encourage them to smoke," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health.
"The amendments to the Tobacco Act position Canada as a world leader in tobacco control."
Effective today, the sale of cigarettes, little cigars and blunt wraps that contain specified additives, including most flavouring agents, is prohibited. With this latest ban, key changes to the Tobacco Act that protect young people from the marketing practices of tobacco companies are now fully in force.
The Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act, which became law on October 8, 2009, included a transition period for retailers and manufacturers to adjust to some of the changes. On April 6, a ban on the sale, including retail and duty-free, of little cigars and blunt wraps packaged in less than 20 units, came into effect.
The Act also extended restrictions on the advertising of tobacco products. Immediately following Royal Assent of the legislation in October, an exception in the Tobacco Act that allowed advertising to be placed in publications with an adult readership of at least 85 per cent was removed. This measure responded to a resurgence of tobacco advertising in free entertainment weeklies and daily newspapers that are accessible to youth.
As this prohibition comes into force, Health Canada will be actively monitoring compliance among all levels of the supply chain, including manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers. When Health Canada inspectors have reasonable grounds to believe that the Act has been contravened, appropriate measures are taken. Inspectors have the authority to issue warnings, seize the product, or refer the case for prosecution.