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Canadian Government Pulls $3.6 Million Plan for New Cigarette Warning Labels

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Canadian Government Pulls $3.6 Million Plan for New Cigarette Warning Labels

The Canadian federal government has pulled its plan to introduce new warning labels on cigarette cartons, costing the country more than $3.6 million, according to documents released this week.

The government had spent more than $3.15 million conducting research on public opinion and other expenses, according to an article for The Globe and Mail. It allocated $945,000 to contracts and just under $500,000 to developing a national anti-smoking 1-800 telephone number. An additional $305,000 covered expenses such as travel and hotel rooms.

"No explanation was given for the government's sudden change of direction," according to The CTV Toronto. Officials said they would instead focus on efforts to fight contraband tobacco, which have become widely available in Canada.

Health Canada announced in late September at a closed-door meeting that it was abandoning its plans to roll out larger, more graphic warnings on cigarette packaging labels.

The new labels would have take up 75 percent of the cigarette carton and may have contained disturbing images, such as pictures of lung cancer patients. The images were intended to deter smokers.