New Government of Canada regulation redesigns tobacco packing
By Atiba Nelson, Staff Reporter
Life for smokers at Douglas College is becoming increasingly difficult and uniform.
According to the Government of Canada, statistically one out of every five Other Press readers, or 20 percent of young adults aged 20 to 24, use tobacco, as highlighted by the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS).
Last year the Other Press documented Douglas’ strict no-smoking policy on campus property, limiting the geographical smoking options for smokers. Now, the Government of Canada is aiming to whitewash cigarette packages with the hopes of deterring youth from starting smoking.
A new Health Canada regulation, which came into effect on November 9, now requires uniform packaging for tobacco products sold in Canada. The regulation, aptly named the Plain and Standardized Appearance – Tobacco Packaging and Products regulation (SOR/2019-107) under the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, standardizes package design for all varieties of cigarettes regardless of the manufacturer.
Under the new law, cigarette packages will feature a “drab brown” foundational colour (Pantone 448 C), grey text (Pantone Cool Gray 2 C), and a very simple design. Additionally, package sizing will be standardized.
Moreover, in the most expansive measure to date, the size and appearance of all tobacco products—including cigarettes and cigars—will be uniform.
The only package design holdout between pre-November 9 cigarette packages and post-November 9 cigarette packages will be the Health Canada pictorial health warnings that were initiated in 2001, and redesigned in 2012. The inside the package health messages and health insert will also stay.
Canada joins a list of eight countries (Australia, France, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand) that require standardized or plain tobacco packaging by manufacturers. Two more countries, Uruguay and Turkey, will be starting plain packaging enforcement by the end of 2019.
Although the legislation came into effect on November 9, manufacturers have 90 days to sell their remaining branded inventory. The regulation aligns with The Government of Canada’s Tobacco Strategy, which aims to drive down tobacco use to five percent of the Canadian population by 2035.
Thinking of quitting?
If you smoke and you would like support with quitting, you can start a conversation with a trusted health professional—including your pharmacist—about ways to quit.
Also, Fraser Health Authority—the local health organization that deals with both Douglas campuses—has several services and resources to help you quit, including QuitNow, BC Smoking Cessation Program, and Quit4Life, a resource directed at teenagers.