The Order Amending the Schedule to the Tobacco Act ("the Order") and the associated Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement has been published in the June 17, 2015 edition of the Canada Gazette, Part II.
The objective of the Order is to protect youth from inducements to use tobacco products by further limiting the availability of flavoured cigar types that are attractive to youth. The Order will remove the ability of the tobacco industry to market most flavoured cigars that are appealing to youth in Canada.
In 2009, the Government of Canada introduced the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act, which amended the Tobacco Act to limit the marketing of tobacco products to youth, especially flavoured little cigars. Little cigars were defined in the Act as cigars weighing no more than 1.4 g or having a cigarette filter as these flavoured cigars were similar in size to cigarettes and had become increasingly popular among youth. However, new cigar types--slightly larger than little cigars and without a filter--were brought onto the Canadian market by tobacco manufacturers and importers after the 2009 amendment and sold in the same flavours targeted by that amendment. Many of these new products retained physical characteristics, such as tipping paper that made them resemble little cigars and cigarettes. Recent surveillance data indicate that youth continue to use flavoured tobacco products, including cigars (Youth Smoking Survey 2012-2013; Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey 2012). Preventing initiation of tobacco use by youth is one of the most effective means of reducing lifetime tobacco use. Further restricting flavours in cigars is expected to contribute to the protection of youth from the dangers of tobacco use.
The Order restricts the use of additives, including most flavouring additives, in cigars weighing more than 1.4 g but not more than 6 g, cigars with tipping paper and cigars with a wrapper not fitted in spiral form. For cigars with a wrapper in spiral form that weigh above 1.4 g but not more than 6 g (excluding those with tipping paper and little cigars) flavouring additives that impart a flavour that is generally attributed to wine, port, whisky or rum will not be prohibited in order to limit the impact of the Order on adult choice. Also, menthol is not prohibited in any of the targeted cigar types, as is the case now for all other tobacco products including cigarettes, little cigars and blunt wraps. The existing restrictions on the use of additives in cigarettes, little cigars and blunt wraps will remain unchanged, subject to an additional exclusion for certain colouring agents in little cigars.
Effective December 14, 2015, the manufacture and sale of certain types of cigars that contain the targeted additives will be prohibited. As already set out in the 2009 amendments to the Tobacco Act, the prohibition related to the packaging of these cigars in a manner that suggests that they contain these additives will also come into force at the same time.