Canadian Magazine Industry News
30 June 2009,     OTTAWA
Bill banning cigarette ads set to pass
The federal government is set to pass an ammendment to the 1997 Tobacco Act that will ban cigarette advertising from print publications once and for all. The proposed ammendment, which passed through the House of Commons last month, now awaits Senate approval. It states, “Clause 11 repeals section 22(2)(b), which permits the advertising of a tobacco product by means of information advertising or brand-preference advertising in publications that have adult readerships of not less than 85%.”

The original Tobacco Act placed heavy restrictions on smoking ads in print publications when it was first passed in 1997. A decade later, the Supreme Court of Canada clarified the Act’s regulations, stating 1) Any cigarette advertising that contains only “factual” information would be considered acceptable, and 2) All cigarette advertising must refrain from particularly appealing to youth. The 2007 revision also allowed tobacco ads to appear in print titles with at least an 85% adult readership. 

During a reading of the bill on Monday, Senator Wilbert J. Keon argued that publications claiming an adult readership of 85% were still being read by kids. “Over the last couple of years, there has been a marked increase in advertising for tobacco in these publications, including newspapers, magazines and free entertainment weeklies. A number of these publications are easily accessible to young people; they can be picked up from curb-side boxes in city cores and suburbs alike.” 

Gary Garland, executive director of advertising services at Magazines Canada, says many magazine publishers were not accepting tobacco advertising as a policy anyway, so the bill won’t have a big impact on the industry at-large.

Leading National Advertising Canada (LNA) tracked 88.4 pages of advertising for "smoking materials" in 2008, up from 12.67 pages in 2007. This advertising was worth an estimated $1.3 million.

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— Christal Gardiola
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