Canadian Cancer Society Applauds New Federal Tobacco Bill



    OTTAWA, May 26 /CNW/ - The Canadian Cancer Society urges all federal
Members of Parliament to support Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act,
introduced today by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.
    The bill would reduce tobacco use in Canada, including among young people
who are particularly vulnerable. Measures in the bill include:

    
    -   banning flavours in cigarillos (little cigars), cigarettes, and
        blunts (tobacco rolling papers)
    -   prohibiting tobacco advertising in newspapers and magazines
    

    "The Canadian Cancer Society strongly supports this bill as it will lead
to fewer Canadians starting to smoke and encourage more to quit," says Rob
Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society. "By working
together to quickly pass this bill, federal MPs will send a clear message that
the health of their constituents and all Canadians comes first. Cancer is a
non-partisan issue."

    Flavoured tobacco products

    The ban on flavoured cigarillos is welcome as the Society has been
advocating for a ban on these products. Many cigarillos come in flavours
appealing to youth such as fruit, candy and ice cream.
    "There is the risk that these flavoured products would be a starter
product for kids who would never otherwise start smoking," says Cunningham.
    A recent survey of youth smoking habits (2006-2007 Youth Smoking Survey)
found a disturbingly high rate of cigarillo smoking among youth.

    Tobacco advertising

    "The provision in the bill to remove the existing exemption that allows
tobacco advertising in newspapers and magazines is a significant measure,"
says Cunningham. "We know that reducing exposure to tobacco ads will reduce
the use of tobacco products."
    Currently, tobacco ads appear in publications such as free weekly
entertainment newspapers in major cities and in some magazines.
    The Canadian Cancer Society applauds Minister Aglukkaq for introducing
the bill, recognizes the Minister's Parliamentary Secretary Colin Carrie who
will have responsibility for the bill in committee, and appreciates the recent
expression of support by opposition parties for legislative action.
    "Tobacco control has been a priority for the Canadian Cancer Society for
many years," says Cunningham. "This bill is important progress in our ongoing
efforts to protect Canadians from the leading preventable cause of disease and
death in Canada."

    The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of
volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of
the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more
about cancer, visit our website at www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free,
bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.





For further information:

For further information: Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian
Cancer Society, (613) 565-2522, ext. 305


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