Algoma Public Health wants the federal Liberals to follow through on their election promise to introduce plain and standardized tobacco packaging and products.
While advertising restrictions have reduced the promotion of tobacco products, the health unit is concerned that the restrictions don't apply to packaging.
"The tobacco industry recognizes that the product and its package are valuable marketing spaces used to communicate many messages," said Laurie Zeppa, director of APH's chronic disease prevention tobacco program, in a report presented to the APH board this past week.
The proposal for standardization of product packages would apply to:
- cigarillos/little cigars
- pipe tobacco
- smokeless tobacco
- waterpipe tobacco/shisha
- loose/roll-your-own tobacco
- cigarette papers
- blunt wraps/bluntarillos.
Brand colours, logos and graphics would be prohibited on all tobacco packaging.
The proposed rules are designed to "ensure all brand packages look the same and equally convey messages warning the user on the harms of tobacco," Zeppa said.
"Package dimensions would be standardized, thus eliminating slims packs targeting women."
The following is the full text of the resolution passed Wednesday night by the board of Algoma Public Health:
Plain and standard tobacco packaging and products
Whereas tobacco use is still the number one cause of preventable death in Canada; and
Whereas tobacco advertising bans restrict much of the promotion of tobacco products but tobacco packages and products are currently not included in these bans; and
Whereas the tobacco industry recognizes that the product and its package are valuable marketing spaces used to communicate many messages; and
Whereas the primary impacts of plain and standardized packaging include, diminished appeal of tobacco products; increased effectiveness of the health warnings; and reduced ability of the product and its packaging to mislead consumers about the harmful effects of tobacco use; and
Whereas plain and standardized packaging has already reduced tobacco use in Australia, and should have the same effect in Canada; and
Whereas plain and standardized tobacco packaging and products was part of the federal Liberal Party’s 2015 election platform and included in Prime Minister Trudeau’s mandate letter to the minister of health
Now therefore be it resolved that the Board of Health of Algoma endorses the Canadian Coalition for Tobacco recommendation for plain and standardized packaging of all tobacco products in Canada;
And further that Algoma Public Health supports ongoing public education and awareness of this issue in Algoma;
And further that Algoma Public Health in keeping with its endorsement continues to monitor the progress of this issue and the need for any further action to support the Canadian Coalition for Tobacco recommendations of plain and standardized packaging of all tobacco products in Canada.