Sorry, menthol lovers, but your favourite brand of cigarettes may be hard to find in Canada by the end of the year.
An amendment to the Tobacco Act was finalized on Wednesday, which will be see a ban to menthol-flavoured cigarettes implemented across Canada over the next six months.
This follows multiple amendments made since 2009 that banned certain flavour additives in cigarettes, blunt wraps, cigars, and cigarillos, to make them less popular with youth.
A release from the federal government stated menthol flavouring makes tobacco smoke easier to inhale, and increases the possibility of young people experimenting with cigarettes.
Minister of Health, Jane Philpott, explained in the release that thousands of Canadians die each year due to smoking-related illnesses.
“Research shows that the best way to prevent these deaths is to help people to not take up smoking in the first place, especially when they’re young,” Philpott said.
“By banning menthol in most tobacco products, in addition to flavours previously prohibited, we are taking another important step in the fight against youth smoking.”
Some 37,000 Canadians die every year of smoking-related illnesses, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
The Canadian Tobacco Alcohol and Drugs 2015 survey has 2% of Canadians 15 and older having smoked menthol-flavoured cigarettes in the past month.
Of that group, half said menthol-flavoured cigarettes were their go-to brand. However, adults over 25 were more likely to smoke menthol-flavoured cigarettes than those aged 20 to 24 years old.