MONTREAL, Jan. 29, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Anti-tobacco groups and health organizations are misleading the public and governments into believing that flavoured tobacco products are a threat to today's youth - by prompting and promoting a limited interpretation of Health Canada's Youth Smoking Survey (YSS), by the University of Waterloo's Propel Centre on Population Health Impact.
Their efforts to date have succeeded in manipulating some governments into blindly rushing towards wanting to ban legitimate tobacco products, distributed through licenced retailers who service legal age-verified customers. The potential cost? Millions in legitimate annual government tax revenues just thrown away, businesses destroyed, jobs lost, and the unjustified and unwarranted undermining of individual rights and freedoms in our country. As importantly, the anti-tobacco groups' dishonest campaign takes the government's time and efforts away from addressing real health priorities among today's kids.
"Their allegations about flavoured tobacco are grossly misleading, bordering on the fraudulent - and so far from the truth that they essentially become lies. Their current cross-Canada campaign against flavoured tobacco products is the perfect example of why their public funding should be reviewed, if not terminated", says Luc Martial - VP in charge of Government Affairs at Casa Cubana. Mr. Martial is also a longstanding tobacco control expert in Canada, having worked at Health Canada in the Offices of Research, Surveillance & Evaluation and Policy & Planning within the Tobacco Control Program. His unique experience in tobacco control further includes postings with the Non-Smokers' Rights Association of Canada, the Canadian Council on Smoking and Health, and the National Clearinghouse on Tobacco and Health.
ABOUT THE YOUTH SMOKING SURVEY
The Youth Smoking Survey (YSS) is a school-based survey of Canadian youth in grades 6-12 that monitors their use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco products. The survey was initiated in 1994 and data is collected on a biennial basis in 2002. The survey in funded by Health Canada and for the most recent year surveyed (2010-11), was conducted by the University of Waterloo's Propel Centre on Population Health Impact.
Use of various age-restricted or illegal products, among kids in Grades 6-12
|8.||Flavoured Tobacco (never smokers)||1%|
Link to graph and footnotes: http://files.newswire.ca/1297/YSS.pdf
Illicit drugs (any 5) include: Amphetamines (speed, ice, meth); MDMA (ecstasy, E, X); Hallucinogens (LSD or acid, PCP, magic mushrooms, mesc); Salvia (Divine Sage, Magic Mint, Sally D); Heroin (smack, H, junk, crank); Cocaine (coke, crack, blow, snow).
Psychoactive pharmaceutical drugs used to get high include: Tranquillizers or Sedatives (tranqs, downers); Stimulants (uppers, bennies) or ADHD treatment; Pain Relievers (such as Percocet, Percodan, Demerol, OxyContin or any pain reliever with codeine).
Dextromethorphan (DXM or DM) is an antitussive drug. It is one of the active ingredients in many over-the-counter cold and cough medicines, including generic labels and store brands, Benylin DM, Mucinex DM, Robitussin, NyQuil, Dimetapp, Vicks, Coricidin, Delsym, TheraFlu, and others. Teens, however, have found another use for cough medicine -- getting high. A 2008 study found that one in 10 American teenagers has abused products with DXM to get high, making it more popular in that age group than cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and meth. Although DXM products are quite safe when taken as recommended, high doses can cause hallucinogenic trips -- and pose serious risks. Source: WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/teen-abuse-cough-medicine-9/teens-and-dxm-drug-abuse
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLAVOURED TOBACCO
Health groups across the country who continue to decry flavours in tobacco products as a youth health priority or crisis - are either lying to themselves or to the general public and Canadian governments. Their alarming and offensive allegations that the industry targets kids with flavours and/or that kids start smoking because of these - are simply unfounded. Interestingly enough, the data they promote as evidence supporting their allegations actually proves the opposite. "So why are governments and the media falling prey to this scam? The simple answer is the most disappointing one - governments and the media simply don't bother to verify the validity or credibility of the data being promoted", Says Mr. Martial.
Governments are then made easier targets by the involvement of youth groups who keep emerging on the flavoured tobacco issue and tugging at politicians' heartstrings. These youth organizations, these wide-eyed kids, are obviously all well-meaning and should be commended for their interest in wanting to contribute to their communities and society in general - but the fact remains that they do not have the experience, maturity or mandate to understand the information given to them or more importantly to challenge its validity. So they unfortunately become BIG ANTI-TOBACCO's pawns and puppets - and in the end their involvement only comes to cloud the government's judgement.
EASILY VERIFIABLE FACTS
According to Health Canada's Youth Smoking Survey (2010-2011):
- Prevalence of smoking (tobacco) among high school kids is actually declining.
- Among kids in grades 6 to 9, there was a decline from 3% in 2008/09 to 2% in 2010/11.
- For kids in grades 10 to 12, there was a decline from 13% in 2008/09 to 10% in 2010/11.
- Kids unfortunately do "try" flavoured tobacco products - but only because they are already smoking/smokers.
- If a high school kid is not already a smoker -there is almost zero chance that he will "try" a flavoured tobacco product. The presence of flavours in tobacco products is not relevant enough to entice kids into becoming smokers.
- Only 1% of high school kids (29,000 across Canada), never before smokers - "tried" a flavoured tobacco product in the previous 30 days of the survey.
- For high school kids who are already smokers and who do "try" a flavoured tobacco product - the flavour of choice, by far, is Menthol. More precisely, 50% of kids who are already smokers have "tried" a flavoured tobacco product and half of them have "tried" Menthol, while the other half have "tried" an unknown flavour(s).
- High school kids are smoking because they are getting (illegal) access to tobacco products in general. The issue of youth smoking is not one of product design (flavours), but rather product "access".
- High school kids are getting (illegal) access to tobacco - by far, from family members and friends (75%).
SOURCE: Casa Cubana
For further information:
VP Government Affairs
Cell: (819) 743-9140