Manitoba Government to Introduce Legislation that Would Ban Flavoured Tobacco Products Marketed to Children

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Manitoba Government to Introduce Legislation that Would Ban Flavoured Tobacco Products Marketed to Children

by ahnationtalk on April 17, 2014861 Views

News Release
April 16, 2014

The province will build on its ongoing commitment to reduce smoking rates and protect the health of Manitobans by introducing proposed amendments to the Non-Smokers Health Protection Act that would ban the sale of flavoured tobacco products, including cigars and cigarettes, marketed to children, Healthy Living and Seniors Minister Sharon Blady announced today.

“No parent wants their child to smoke and we should do whatever we can to keep them from picking up this dangerous habit in the first place,” said Minister Blady.  “Cigarettes that taste like strawberry and bubble gum in flashy packaging are attractive to children and encourage them to experiment with tobacco.” 

Flavoured cigars and cigarettes are often less expensive and use colourful packaging to appeal to youth, the minister said, noting a recent survey done by the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact.  The findings, released last October, showed teens are using flavoured tobacco products more often than non-flavoured.

“We are pleased to see the province take the initiative to ban the sale of some flavoured tobacco products,” said Erin Crawford, senior director, public issues and community engagement, Canadian Cancer Society, Manitoba Division.  “By preventing the sale of these products, this amendment would be an important step in protecting young Manitobans from being tempted to purchase tobacco products marketed as candy-like goods.  Such initiatives contribute to our fight against cancer.”

In Manitoba, youth smoking rates have declined to 13 per cent in 2012 from 29 per cent in 1999, according to the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey.  Minister Blady noted it is essential for the province to continue working with youth, stakeholders and other partners on this important issue.

“At West Kildonan Collegiate we have worked to help students stop smoking with the support of our Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) team,” said Gerry Corr, principal.  “Our team of young people are passionate about ensuring their peers do not start smoking and today’s announcement certainly encourages and supports the ongoing efforts of our SWAT team to stop young people from smoking.”

The minister said the proposed amendments have been developed to address loopholes in federal legislation that allow companies to continue to market flavoured tobacco products and are consistent with similar work underway in other provinces.   

Menthol tobacco products, snuff and chewing tobacco are exempt from the prohibition on supplying flavoured tobacco products.

Every year, it is estimated tobacco kills about 2,000 Manitobans.  For more information about Manitoba’s efforts to reduce smoking rates, visit www.manitoba.ca/healthyliving/tobacco.

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED

The Non-Smokers Health Protection Act

NT5

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