Rapid Fire Session 2014 World Cancer Congress

The Case for Banning Slims and Superslims Cigarettes (#353)

Rob Cunningham 1
  1. Canadian Cancer Society, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Background and Context:

For decades, the tobacco industry has targeted females with slims/superslims cigarettes.  In recent years in a vast number of countries worldwide, a proliferation of new slims/superslims brands have been introduced in the market, and global sales volumes for the slims/superslims category have grown dramatically. 


This presentation will make the case for banning “slims” and “superslims” cigarettes, that is cigarettes with a diameter of 7.5mm or less.


Slims/superslims cigarettes are detrimental in numerous ways, including (1) preying on weight concerns of women and girls; (2) making the cigarette more fashionable and attractive; (3) being packaged in “perfume packs” or “purse packs” that are stylish and attractive, and that have a thin package design that undermines the impact of the health warning; and (4) creating perceptions that slims/superslims cigarettes are significantly less harmful than regular cigarettes.

Programme/Policy Process:

The European Union’s initial proposed revisions to the Tobacco Products Directive, released in December 2012, contained a provision to prohibit slims/superslims cigarettes of 7.5mm or less but, following tobacco industry lobbying, this provision was not included in the final adopted Directive.


In Australia, while slims/superslims cigarettes have not yet been prohibited, the implementation of plain and standardized packaging has meant that “perfume pack” dimensions for packaging are now prohibited.

Outcomes/What was learned:

The tobacco industry’s targeting of females through slims/superslims cigarettes should not be able to continue.  Governments should implement a ban on slims/superslims cigarettes as soon as possible.