03/21/2012 05:31 EDT | Updated 05/21/2012 05:12 EDT

Canada Cigarette Warning Labels: Packs Bearing More Explicit Labels To Debut On Store Shelves

OTTAWA - New graphic labels for cigarette and little cigar packages will start making their way onto store shelves.

Wednesday marked the first day that tobacco manufacturers and importers have to start labelling packages with the explicit warnings unveiled by the government last fall.

The new Health Canada rules require larger and more noticeable messages that cover 75 per cent of the front and back of packages.

The photos include one of anti-smoking activist Barb Tarbox dying of lung cancer.

The rules also require packages to contain information on how to quit smoking and more details on the chemicals contained in tobacco smoke.

Retailers have until June 18 to unload their old inventory before they must start selling the cigarette and little cigar packages with the new graphics.