In the 1960’s it seemed Canadians could smoke anywhere, on airplanes, in offices, classrooms, elevators, restaurants, and doctor’s offices. Even MP’s had ashtrays in the House of Commons. We had them in our on-air control rooms. Cigarettes were advertised on radio and TV. By the early 70’s, ads had been banned on the electronic media. Who remembers smoking sections on airplanes?
Canada banned smoking on domestic flights in 1987 and on international flights in 1990. By the end of the 1980’s, manufacturers were required to list the additives and amounts for each brand and by 1994 legislation required cigarette packs to carry warning messages and the legal age to buy cigarettes was raised to 18. A law was passed in 2000 after which warnings and graphic images covered 50% of the pack. This was increased to 75% in 2010. In the 2000’s provinces began lining up to sue the big tobacco companies for Billions of dollars to recover health care costs related to smoking. Saskatchewan finally joined in in 2012. I see in the U.S., by court order, the tobacco companies are being forced to return to advertising on tv, this time to advertise the deadly, addictive effect of smoking. Even though smoking rates have declined it remains the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and illness. Canadians watch a lot of American television and so many people will likely see these ads that may convince some smokers to quit and add years to their lives.