Canadian Cancer Society calls for action in Ontario to help prevent
children from smoking
TORONTO, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - As Halloween approaches, the Canadian Cancer
Society warns parents to be aware of tobacco products that look and taste like
"As children are getting excited about trick or treating this week, we
call on the Ontario government to get rid of flavoured cigarillos," says
Rowena Pinto, Senior Director, Public Affairs, Ontario Division, Canadian
Cancer Society. "Candy flavours and dressing up tobacco products in colourful
packaging is a trick, not a treat."
The Canadian Cancer Society is calling for provincial legislation to
eliminate the use of flavours in tobacco products and make 20 the minimum
package size for cigarillos in Ontario.
Not only are cigarillos available in flavours such as fruit, candy and
ice cream but they can be cheaper than cigarettes because they are sold in
smaller quantities. There are no health warnings on cigarillos sold singly.
"Marketing an addictive product that causes cancer is threatening the
health of our children," says Pinto. "And because flavoured cigarillos are
packaged like candy, parents may not even be aware that these are tobacco
According to the University of Waterloo Youth Smoking Survey (06-07), 35%
of Canadian youth in Grades 10 to 12 have tried cigarillos.
"The survey results are alarming," says Pinto. "We know most smokers
start before the age of 18 and these products are deliberately designed and
sold in a way to appeal to young people."
During the recent federal election, the Prime Minister announced his
party's commitment to set a minimum package size and restrict the use of
flavour in tobacco products. The Society supports this commitment; however,
action is needed now to prevent youth from accessing flavoured cigarillos.
- Cigarillos are small cigars that have about the same size and feel as
a cigarette and are packaged to look like candy.
- Because they are rolled in tobacco leaf rather than paper, cigarillos
are exempt from regulations that require health warnings and restrict
- Cigarillos are available as singles for less than $2 at convenience
- No health warnings on singles sold in cases or separately
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 www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual
Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.
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For further information:
For further information: Christine Koserski, Media Relations, Ontario
Division, Canadian Cancer Society: (416) 323-7030