TORONTO - "Would you like oral cancer with those cigarettes?" is just one of 16 new graphic messages that began appearing on tobacco products throughout Canada earlier this week, the Toronto Star reports.
Approved last September, the law requires that the labels cover 75% of each cigarette pack and cigar box, an effort to curb smoking
"Today we€™ve fulfilled our promise to put new, larger health warnings on cigarette and little cigar packages across Canada," said Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq earlier this week. "This initiative continues our efforts to inform Canadians €" especially young people €" about the health hazards of smoking."
The graphic labels depict a number of scenarios, including cancerous mouths, tongues covered in white splotches, and a frail and emaciated Barb Tarbox, a prominent Canadian anti-smoking advocate who died of lung cancer. Her package reads: "This is what dying of lung cancer looks like."
Imperial Tobacco Canada challenged the law earlier this year on constitutional grounds, maintaining the labels violate the company€™s Charter rights to freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression.
"Does anyone seriously believe that Canadians don€™t already know the risk of smoking?" asked Vice President of Corporate Affairs John Clayton in a statement released at the time. "Increasing the size of the warning from 50% to 75% will not lead to any measurable change to public awareness."