Canada's tobacco health warnings at Museum of Modern Art

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Health Canada News Release

October 7, 2005

Canada's tobacco health warnings to be showcased at Museum of Modern Art

OTTAWA - The Government of Canada's pictorial health warnings for tobacco packaging will be featured in a new exhibit entitled SAFE: Design Takes On Risk at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. The exhibit will run from October 16, 2005 to January 2, 2006.

"Canada is an international leader in tobacco control with the introduction of the world's first pictorial health warnings," said Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh. " I am very proud that these labels have been recognized as being among some of the most innovative contemporary designs in the world."

Design objects and prototypes from around the world aimed at protecting the body and mind from dangerous or stressful situations, preventing and responding to situations of emergency, and/or providing a sense of comfort and safety will be exhibited. Other items include pacemakers, baby strollers, and the display of nutritional information.

Canada 's tobacco regulations require the use of pictorial health warnings on packaging. The regulations also focus messages on: health information and toxic emissions. Health warnings pictures include a cancerous lung and a damaged heart and warnings include "cigarettes cause lung cancer" and "cigarettes hurt babies." These messages are intended to increase smokers' knowledge of the hazards associated with tobacco use and have proven to be very successful.

Building on the success of the first set of health warnings, Health Canada is currently working towards the development of new requirements. Research shows the effectiveness of the health warnings; however, Canadians may be getting accustomed to the images displayed on tobacco packaging. The warnings will lose impact over time if left unchanged.

Every year, more than 45,000 Canadians die from disease or illness caused by tobacco use and at least 1,000 are non-smokers. The primary goal of the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS) is to reduce disease and death among Canadians. It recognizes that the key to success is comprehensive, integrated and sustained action, carried out in collaboration with all partners and directed at Canadians of all ages. Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Health are committed to working together to reduce tobacco consumption in Canada.

The Museum of Modern Art will host a press preview on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 from 1:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m. Remarks will take place at 2:30 p.m. Any media who want to attend must RSVP by phone at (212) 708-9401 or by e-mail at pressoffice@moma.org.

For more information, please visit www.gosmokefree.ca or Next link will open in a new windowThe Museum of Modern Art website.

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