Canadian tobacco marketers to fight contentlabeling

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Tobacco marketersin one of Canada's largest provinces will be forcedto list toxic ingredients on their packagingif a tough new anti-smoking measure is approved.

Government health officials in British Columbiaplan soon to table added regulations for cigar andcigarette packaging, which under federal law mustalready carry large health warnings.

There are about 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes andcigarette smoke, among them turpentine, arsenic,lead, ammonia, cadmium, benzene and formaldehyde.

"People might think twice about putting cigarettesin their mouths if they knew what was actually inthem," says provincial Health Minister Joy MacPhail.Canada's tobacco industry says it will challenge thenew regulations and suggests that the provincedoesn't have the authority to bring in packagingrules, which have long been under federal law.

Federal officials indicate that British Columbiawould be able to bring in labeling regulations beyondthose already in place.

"Consumers can get more information from a can ofinsect killer than they do from a deadly product theyare expected to use internally," says Ms. MacPhail.Until British Columbia's move, tobacco marketers inCanada haven't been required to list ingredients.Health warnings have been mandatory for years.

Copyright January 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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