U.S. takes Canada's lead in proposing picture-based warnings on cigarette packages
TORONTO, July 25 /CNW/ - Two Democratic representatives in Congress will hold a news conference on Monday, July 29 to discuss plans to push forward legislation that would place picture-based warnings on cigarette packages in the U.S.
Ken Kyle, director of public issues at the Canadian Cancer Society, will participate in the conference to speak about the success the warnings -- pioneered in Canada -- have had in reducing smoking rates. The warnings first appeared on cigarette packages in the summer of 2001. Following Canada's lead,
other countries around the world such as Brazil and those in the European Union, have introduced or are considering similar labels.
Rep. Marty Meehan is the lead sponsor and Rep. Rush Holt a co-sponsor of a bill introduced in the U.S. Congress last February that would place graphic warning labels on all tobacco products. The House Leadership opposes the bill.
The U.S. initiative comes just prior to the final trial argument in Quebec Superior Court in which Canadian tobacco manufacturers argued that current Tobacco Act restrictions -- namely restrictions on tobacco advertising and the image based package warnings -- are in violation of their constitutional right to freedom of expression.