Tobacco ads face final butt out bill

A new bill recently introduced in Parliament could ban tobacco advertising in magazines and newspapers.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq introduced a new bill in Parliament last week that, if passed, would ban cigarette ads in print media outright.

The federal government passed the Tobacco Act in 1997, which was upheld a decade later by the Supreme Court of Canada, limiting tobacco advertising and sponsorship, and clarifying that ‘cigarette advertising must refrain from particularly appealing to youth,’ and that cigarette advertising that contains only ‘factual’ information would be considered acceptable.

Earlier this year, according to Masthead, tobacco giant JTI-Macdonald Corp spent significant sums on a magazine ad campaigns in adult-targeted magazines like the Canadian edition of Time, and in alternative weeklies like Toronto’s Eye Weekly, Vancouver’s Georgia Straight and Montreal’s Mirror.

If the new bill becomes law, tobacco ads in publications like these – said to be the bill’s last loophole – would be closed.

The Leading National Advertising Canada (LNA) reports that advertising for ‘smoking materials’ in last year were worth an estimated $1.3 million, and up from 12.67 pages in 2007.