Puff Piece: Canada Is Looking to Force Cigarette Companies to Put a Health Warning on Each Individual Cigarette

Puffing in Canada is about to come with more warnings.
Puffing in Canada is about to come with more warnings. / ljubaphoto/iStock via Getty Images

The dire health consequences of smoking have been well understood for decades now, with cigarette companies forced to abide by various regulations to inform consumers of those risks. In the United States, it’s typically a label on the packaging. In Canada and the UK, photos of damaged lungs appear on wrappers.

Now Canada appears to be taking those precautions a step further. According to Business Insider, the country is looking to force cigarette manufacturers to place a warning on each cigarette—a scolding for virtually every drag.

Canada’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Carolyn Bennett announced the change last week, with Health Canada asserting that warnings on each wrapper would make it impossible to ignore them. The warning would read: “Poison in every puff.”

The country began requiring graphic photos on packages about two decades ago, but Bennett said such practices may have lost some of their impact. The new messaging, she said, might reach smokers who borrow cigarettes or otherwise aren’t exposed via packages to the dangers of the habit.

In Canada, roughly 48,000 deaths are attributed to smoking each year, with 10 percent of residents being smokers.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, smoking is linked to various cancers, heart disease, lung diseases, and diabetes, among other afflictions. It causes 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. annually. Roughly 80 percent of lung cancers are associated with tobacco.

The change is set to be implemented following a 75-day public consultation period. If enacted, the changes would take place later in 2023. Canada is hoping to halve the number of smokers in the country by 2035.

[h/t Business Insider]