Friday, 29 April 2016

Health Canada moves to ban menthol!

Usually Friday afternoons are when governments try to bury news. So it is a bit of a head scratcher that it was at a TGIF moment that news leaked out that the federal government was proposing to ban menthol in cigarettes, blunt wraps (used to smoke marijuana) and many cigars.

It is a 180 degree reversal from the position taken by the previous federal government. Barely 4 months have passed since a federal additive ban which expressly exempted menthol came into force last December.

Tobacco companies have resisted the ban by filing lawsuits, and are likely behind the objections being raised at the World Trade Organization in response to the bans introduced in Nova Scotia and elsewhere. 

It was after the provinces moved forward with their measures that the companies defiantly launched newer styles of menthol cigarettes in Canada. (The click-menthol "Next" brand shown below was launched by Philip Morris last year. Imperial Tobacco has also launched click-menthol products)

This industry provocation is all the more reason for the federal government to step up its action. It is all the more reason for us to applaud their actions.