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New cigarette warning labels should not be abandoned: editorial

Health Canada’s tobacco policy change is unwise, says CMAJ


 

Is the government caving to the tobacco industry? An editorial published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal takes the federal government to task for its decision to focus on fighting contraband cigarettes instead of carrying out a plan to put larger, more graphic warning labels on cigarette packs and enforcing the display of a toll-free number for quitting smoking. The abandonment of the latter plan, the CMAJ suggests, should come with some sort of explanation from Health Canada—who made the announcement in a closed-door meeting with provincial and territorial representatives. In the absence of an explanation, the CMAJ speculates that the tobacco industry lobbied hard against the new labels, which could threaten their bottom line, and the government refocused its efforts as a result. Or, perhaps the policy shift is yet another example of Harper’s government ignoring public health to focus on his law-and-order agenda. Either way, the CMAJ argues that fresh labels are necessary—the current labels have remained unchanged for a decade, and as such the effectiveness of those deterrents has decreased over time.

CMAJ [PDF]


 
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New cigarette warning labels should not be abandoned: editorial

  1. It's about government revenue streams. Quitters don't pay the tobacco tax – nor do folks smoking contraband. The theme seems pretty obvious to me.

  2. The high road is to focus all efforts on heealth. The low road is to try to protect the revenue stream. We have heard the decision and it ain't a surprise.

  3. Unless a person's been living in a cave isolated from all human contact, they know that tobacco is dangerously unhealthy. I don't know that bigger and more visible labels would make a big difference.

  4. It's amazing there is no warnings on alcohol here. In the US there is. For one thing I had no idea that alcohol is linked to certain cancers. It is also a contributing factor in the thousands of people who die in car accidents every year. Meanwhile the government is making more money off it than the industry. Of course this weekend I will be drinking a few beers so I don't know if there is a warning that would make me stop but some could slow a person down.

  5. Bigger labels are an idiots solution. The fact is social engineers have long been trying to invoke prohibition…People are largely sick of being told what to think and I think the majority of youth are right there with that. The "Percentage" of smokers will never be zero as not everyone want to be a healthbot. There are issues much bigger than how long we can live our selfish little lives–Like how bout our suicidal reproductive rates? Wake up to reality people!

    • the solution is probably to charge smokers and drinkers more for health insurance ..private business surely would do that …then if people want to live unhealthy lives the taxpayer doesn't have to pay for it ..there definitely should be warnings because idiots in fact do not know the risks ..it is only relatively recently that tobacco companies have admitted their products are deadly

  6. Why can't they just put a picture of a smoker lung (blackish) and a cancerous lung in the package. It will work more wonders than a worded warning!

  7. My favorite part is when the CMAJ completely makes stuff up and attributes it to the Harper government. Then, based on their own speculation, they conclude that they were correct all along.

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