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Health and Welfare Canada

Health and Welfare Canada Cause Button Museum
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Health and Welfare Canada button back
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Health and Welfare Canada Sante' et Bien-etre Social Canada
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An illustration of a lit cigarette pointing downwards with large red line going through it. The line has black text inside it and it and the cigarette sit inside a white circle. The white circle is surrounded by a red ring. 

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Has Novelties-Toronto. Canada-863-1190

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In 1954, the tobacco companies gave the Canadian Department of Health and Welfare money to conduct a study between the links of cancer and tobacco use. The results of the study were not made public until 1963, when the Canadian government began to restrict tobacco sales. The reticence was a deliberate decision made between the Canadian government and the food and drug industries. The findings linked cancer with tobacco use but were deemed controversial and said to not provide enough scientific evidence. The controversy continued until the early 1980s, when other scientific studies began to find a link as well. By the mid-1980s, there was enough support in Parliament for the Non-Smokers’ Health Act, which went into effect in 1988. The act banned tobacco advertising and tobacco use at government facilities. It is likely that this button depicts the emerging anti-tobacco campaign of the 1980s.


Collishaw, N. (2009). History of tobacco control in Canada. Ottawa: Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. Retrieved October 25, 2014, from

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