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Old 12-31-2010, 12:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face Do you think Graphic ads on ciagrette packs make a difference?

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The federal government has introduced new rules that will force tobacco companies to include larger and more graphic anti-smoking warning labels on cigarette packages.

Once the rules are enacted, the new anti-smoking ads will cover 75 per cent of the package, instead of the current required 50 per cent, federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said Thursday.

One of the new labels features a deathbed photograph of former Canadian model Barb Tarbox, who became an anti-smoking activist before her death from lung cancer in 2003 at age 42.

The labels will also display a phone number for a quit-smoking hotline, while a social media campaign will be launched targeting smokers aged 20-24, the minister told reporters in Ottawa.

"We know that having the warnings is still the most effective method to warn smokers of the health risks of smoking," Aglukkaq said.

Despite the minister's announcement on Thursday, it could still be some time before Canadians actually start seeing the labels on cigarette packs.

Aglukkaq said she hopes to introduce the legislation "as soon as possible" in the new year.

But once the rules are passed, Health Canada must notify the tobacco companies and give them a transition period before the label rules come into effect, an official in Aglukkaq's department said.

In a statement on Thursday, Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. said it "lamented" Aglukkaq's decision to impose new regulations on the legal tobacco industry and accused the minister of abandoning her commitment to tackle Canada's contraband tobacco problem.
CBC News - Canada - New tobacco warnings bigger, more graphic
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