London, ON – There’s no place for youth and teen-friendly packaging, nor flavours like cherry, mint and bubblegum in tobacco products in Canada. That simple message is gaining momentum across the country after the introduction of Bill C-438 in the federal legislature in late June; a Private Member’s Bill tabled by NDP MP Megan Leslie. Among other measures, the proposed legislation would ban flavouring smokeless tobacco and little cigars. The sale and marketing of these products, which are aimed at younger consumers, is currently permitted.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit, through its One Life One You youth group, brought the message to yesterday’s North London Community Health Fair. As part of a national awareness campaign called Flavour…GONE, a group of more than 20 youth dressed in morph suits performed a flash mob dance in the middle of the health fair. The group also provided information about the campaign and encouraged attendees to sign a petition calling on Members of Parliament to support Bill C-438.
“Tobacco Industry products are packaged to look, smell and taste like candy. This is appealing to young people and can easily hook them into a lifelong addiction,” says Michelle Alvey, Youth Engagement Health Promoter with the Health Unit’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco Control Team. “Tobacco is the number one preventable cause of disease and death in Canada and the whole point of Flavour… GONE is to protect youth from ever starting to use tobacco products. Cancer shouldn’t come in a candy wrapper.”
One Life One You collected 225 signatures at the North London Community Health Fair, which will be added to the more than 4,000 signatures from communities across Canada that have already showed their support for the Flavour…GONE campaign.
“We want to protect our peers from trying and becoming addicted to Tobacco Industry Products,” says One Life One You member MacKenzie Dumoulin. “Tobacco products should not come in candy flavours and fun packaging. It is the only product, that if taken as directed, can kill you.”
For more information on the Flavour…GONE campaign or to show your support for banning flavours from tobacco industry products, visit their Facebook page or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit, 519-663-5317 extension 2469 or 519-617-0570 (cell.)
Michelle Alvey, Youth Engagement Health Promoter, Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco Control Team, Middlesex-London Health Unit