to make plain packaging for tobacco products compulsory
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[June 01, 2016]
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada, following
the lead of Britain and Australia, will make plain packaging of
cigarettes compulsory in a bid to cut the rate of smoking, Health
Minister Jane Philpott said on Tuesday.
Although Canada already obliges firms to slap large graphic warning
labels on cigarette packets, Philpott said more must be done, given
that some 5 million of Canada's 36 million inhabitants still use
The measures would require a uniform, standardized color and font on
packages and restrict the use of logos and trademarks.
"I don't believe tobacco companies should be allowed to build brand
loyalty with children for a product that could kill them," Philpott
A final decision on what packaging rules to apply will be announced
after a three-month period of public consultations.
Earlier this month, a British court backed the government's plans
for mandatory plain packaging when it struck down a legal challenge
from tobacco companies.
In 2011, Australia became the first country to adopt plain packaging
Major producers of tobacco sold in Canada include Japan Tobacco's
JTI-Macdonald unit, Rothmans Benson & Hedges Inc, which is partly
owned by Philip Morris and Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd, a unit of
British American Tobacco.
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"With products already hidden from view in stores and 75 percent of
the pack covered with health warnings, nobody starts smoking because
of the pack," said Eric Gagnon, a spokesman for Imperial Tobacco.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Alan Crosby)
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