- Q1. Where can I find the text of the amendments to the Tobacco Act?
- A1. You can read the amendments on the Parliament of Canada Web site
In addition, you can read the full text of the Tobacco Act on the Department of Justice Web site.
- Q2. When do these amendments come into effect?
- A2. The Act has several different coming-into-force dates:
- The extended restrictions on the advertising of tobacco products came into effect on October 8, 2009, when the amendments received Royal Assent.
- Effective April 6, 2010, the retail sale, including duty-free sale, of little cigars and blunt wraps packaged in less than 20 units is no longer permitted.
- Effective July 5, 2010, the retail sale, including duty-free sale, of cigarettes, little cigars and blunt wraps that contain a prohibited additive (all flavouring agents excluding menthol, and certain other additives) is no longer permitted.
- Q3. Why has the Government amended the Tobacco Act?
- A3. In September 2008, Prime Minister Harper committed to taking action on tobacco marketing practices aimed at youth. The Government has fulfilled its commitment by:
- Banning the use of fruit-flavourings in little cigars, cigarettes and blunt wraps, as well as those additives that add candy-like flavours;
- Addressing the resurgence of tobacco advertising in publications that can be viewed by children and youth; and
- Requiring that little cigars and blunt wraps be sold in packages of at least 20.
The recent trend of fruit and other flavours (such as grape, cherry, peach, banana split, tropical punch, and chocolate) being added to little cigars and blunt wraps served as an inducement to youth smoking. Sales of little cigars have jumped from 53 million units in 2001 to an estimated 469 million units in 2008; they were the fastest growing tobacco product on the market and children and youth were smoking them.
- Q4. What is a blunt wrap, and why are they included in the amendments?
- A4. A blunt wrap is a sheet or tube made of tobacco used to roll cigarette tobacco in - similar to rolling paper. Like little cigars, blunt wraps are available in a wide range of flavours including banana split, strawberry, chocolate, and tropical punch, and are sold in single or small quantity "kiddy-packs" for as little as $1 dollar each.
Blunt wraps are included in these amendments because removing certain flavours and packaging them in larger quantities makes them less attractive and accessible to youth. If blunt wraps were not included in the flavour ban along with minimum quantity provisions, children and youth could switch from using flavoured little cigars to using flavoured blunt wraps and adding their own tobacco.
- Q5. Why has Health Canada not focused on contraband tobacco in this amendment?
- A5. Health Canada focuses on prevention and cessation measures; it is the role of Public Safety to lead the government's efforts against contraband through the RCMP's Contraband Tobacco Enforcement Strategy.
The focus of the amendments is to address the advertising and marketing of tobacco products to children and youth.