OTTAWA, Nov. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - As part of the 8th National Conference on
Tobacco or Health Youth Stream co-presented by the Ontario Lung
Association's Youth Advocacy Training Institute and the Tobacco Control
Area Network of Eastern Ontario, youth from across Canada will be
holding an event at Parliament Hill to encourage the Federal Government
to ban all flavours in all tobacco products. Many flavoured tobacco
products are enticing to youth and are packaged to look like lip-gloss,
candy and other youth friendly products.
According to a recent study released by the Propel Centre for Population
Health Impact at the University of Waterloo, more than half (52 per
cent) of high school smokers surveyed said they had used
candy-flavoured tobacco in the past 30 days.
"Adding flavours and flashy packaging so tobacco products look and taste
like candy sends a clear message that these products are being targeted
to kids," said Miranda Merry a member of Freeze the Industry
anti-tobacco industry coalition. "It is time to stop the Tobacco
Industry from being able to use these creative marketing practices. We
need a ban on all flavours in all tobacco products to help prevent
young people from being enticed by Big Tobacco."
The call for a ban on flavoured tobacco products is not new. In 2009,
The Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act, was passed and was designed to ban the sale of flavoured cigarillos. Unfortunately, loopholes in the law allowed the Tobacco Industry to
slightly change its product and today a very similar product is still
for sale. This was achieved by removing the banned cigarillos filter
and increasing the weight of the cigarillo to more than 1.4 grams.
These two small acts reclassified the product to a little-cigar, and
therefore it was no longer subject to the legislative ban. The Tobacco
Industry's ability to get around laws is why the group is calling for
an outright ban on all flavoured tobacco products.
"As a youth, it's frustrating to see the Tobacco Industry so easily get
around a law that took so many years and hard work to bring about,"
said Cassidy Traver, a member of Freeze the Industry anti-tobacco
industry coalition. "Imagine if hamburgers were banned, but the next
day they were still being sold because the restaurants had made the
patties slightly bigger and changed the bun so that it could be called
a beef sandwich instead of a hamburger. It sounds ridiculous, but
essentially that is what the Tobacco Industry has done with the
cigarillo ban and they are getting away with it."
Youth attending the November 25 event will be made up youth from 15
Public Health Units across Ontario including representation from
Northern Ontario's Flavour…Gone coalition and members from Ontario's
Freeze the Industry group along with other youth from groups across
Canada. The event marks an important milestone for the Flavour…Gone and
Freeze the Industry coalitions as they recently merged. The new
combined group will continue with the Freeze the Industry brand and is
seeking a ban on all flavoured tobacco.
About Freeze the Industry
Freeze the Industry is a youth led coalition that is dedicated to
stopping the Tobacco Industry from developing and marketing products
that are enticing to youth. The group is calling for an immediate ban
on all flavoured tobacco products. In the fall of 2013, the group
merged with the former Flavour…Gone coalition, a group of Northern
Ontario youth that were instrumental in encouraging the Federal
Government to adopt legislation to restrict the sale of flavoured
cigarillos (mini-cigars) in 2009. For more information visit - http://www.freezetheindustry.com/
SOURCE: National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTH)
For further information:
Prior to event: 613-549-1232 x1574
During event: 613-876-5486 (Mobile)