Flavoured tobacco should be outlawed

The impact of flavoured tobacco on our youth deserves immediate attention from provincial government officials.

The impact of flavoured tobacco on our youth deserves immediate attention from provincial government officials.

With flavours like cherry, liquorice, chocolate mint and vanilla, these products are attracting an alarming number of youth in Alberta — who often are first-time users.

These enticing flavours are not the only way the tobacco industry is attracting youth to these products. Many of these products are packaged to resemble lip gloss or children’s markers and are brightly coloured and of similar size and shape.

Parents and teachers may not recognize these as tobacco products.

These marketing practices must be halted in order to help protect young Albertans from a lifelong addition to tobacco.

The latest Health Canada tobacco survey revealed some gloomy data about youth smoking in Alberta.

Within the past few years, sales of small flavoured cigars called cigarillos have increased over 1,000 times.

Smoking rates among teens aged 15 to 19 years have increased, while all other age categories decreased.

Health groups blame tobacco industry youth marketing tactics such as these candy-flavoured tobacco products for the higher youth smoking rates.

The increase in youth smoking rates is also directly related to the affordability of these products.

Due to higher wages many young Albertans earn in comparison to youth in other provinces, tobacco products relatively more affordable to Alberta youth. An increase in the cost of tobacco in Alberta, through higher tobacco taxes, would be an effective solution to this problem.

Evidence shows that youth are more price sensitive and that higher prices discourage the uptake of tobacco among youth.

The Ontario government has taken some action by implementing a provincial law that bans all flavoured cigarillos. A Calgary MLA is following suit by planning to introduce a bill to address flavoured tobacco products in Alberta.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper also promised a ban on these products during the last federal election.

Strong legislation is needed to protect our children from the tobacco industry’s latest youth marketing strategy; candy-flavoured products packaged in ways that appeal to kids.

Tobacco is the No. 1 preventable cause of illness and premature death among Canadians.

By removing all flavoured tobacco products, we will help to prevent the tobacco industry from addicting another generation of youth tobacco users.

Gail Foreman

Action on Smoking and Health

Media Spokesperson

Red Deer

Just Posted

Forest fire smoke alert for Central Alberta

Poor air quality and reduced visibility

Ponoka liquor store robbed

One suspect charged so far

Women’s Outreach looking for school supplies for low income Central Albertans

With the back-to-school season upon us, Women’s Outreach is looking to the… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Turning on Trump doesn’t buy credibility for black Americans

WASHINGTON — For years, Omarosa Manigault Newman stood at Donald Trump’s side,… Continue reading

Senior Chinese monk accused of sexual misconduct quits post

BEIJING — One of China’s most high-profile Buddhist monks has resigned from… Continue reading

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A priest raped a 7-year-old girl while he was… Continue reading

Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins

GENOA, Italy — Italian emergency workers pulled two more bodies out of… Continue reading

Constellation Brands spending $5 billion to increase stake in Canopy Growth

SMITH FALLS, Ont. — Constellation Brands has signed a deal to invest… Continue reading

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

TORONTO — When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her… Continue reading

Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

TORONTO — The case of Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard, who faces three… Continue reading

Fredericton woman recounts terrifying moments after gunshots rang out

FREDERICTON — She awoke to the crack of gunfire, the shots fired… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month