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Warnings on every cigarette

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Canada to impose a warning about the negative effects of tobacco printed on every cigarette

Canada may be the first country in the world to require a written warning message on every cigarette. In addition to the obligation to include on cigarette packs a warning about the negative effects of tobacco accompanied by a picture as unpleasant as possible, which was introduced two decades ago, it is now planned to extend the obligation to each individual cigarette.

According to the Canadian Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Carolyn Benet, it is necessary to take action because it seems that consumers have ended up normalizing all the images and warning messages included so far and, as the novelty has been lost, their effect has also been lost.

This change, according to the Minister, will help the message to reach young people and first-time consumers because, instead of a full pack, people tend to start smoking through loose cigarettes, avoiding the warning messages and the lurid images on tobacco packs.

If everything goes as planned, the whole process to include the standard will be ready in a few months and messages will be seen on cigarettes in the second half of 2023. The exact messages that will appear are not yet defined but, for obvious reasons, they will have to be short and forceful in order to be included on each cigarette. Nor have the technical characteristics of the printing of the messages been defined, since, if the aim is precisely to convince consumers not to inhale toxic smoke, adding more chemical components through the ink needed to print the warnings does not seem like the best idea.

Canadian experts hope that this will eventually become a global trend, just like the images and messages on cigarette packs that we can now see around the world.

In any case, it remains to be seen how effective this type of campaign will be and whether, once the novelty has worn off, the new messages printed on each cigarette will be of any use.

As for tobacco consumption data, it is a fact that the figures are trending slightly downwards, but a curious fact that few expected has occurred: while tobacco consumption is decreasing notably among the male population, it is growing considerably among adolescents and young women, and no one has been able to give a sociological explanation for this change in trend.

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