Sixty-five per cent of Nova Scotians believe ban of flavoured tobacco should be a top government priority

20 March 2014

Halifax -

The results of a new omnibus survey commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society Nova Scotia Division and conducted by MQO Research, reveals 65% of respondents feel the Nova Scotia government should regard the ban on flavoured tobacco in the prevention of youth disease as a top priority. The Canadian Cancer Society is asking each Nova Scotian to convey this message to their local MLA through our is a Canadian Cancer Society advocacy website which allows users to send a pre-filled, but customizable, letter to their local provincial representative(s). The site generates a letter to the appropriate MLA based on postal code.

“We are calling on all Nova Scotians to put pressure on their local MLAs,” says Kelly Cull, Manager of Government and Partner Relations at the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Cancer Society. “We feel flavoured tobacco should be a top priority when the Legislative Assembly reconvenes in April. Flavoured tobacco is putting our youth at risk and we strongly recommend the government amend the Tobacco Access Act to prohibit the sale of all flavoured tobacco products.”

Cull continues, “We commend Health Minister Leo Glavine on his stand on regulations for e-cigarettes, and urge him to protect Nova Scotia youth by introducing legislation to ban flavoured tobacco products.” 

The same survey shows that 50% of Nova Scotians were not aware most convenience stores sell flavoured tobacco products across the province. Of those who were not aware, 64% of them support a complete ban on flavoured tobacco products.

According to a recent national study of flavoured tobacco and youth from the University of Waterloo, nearly half of all youth tobacco users in Atlantic Canada are using flavoured tobacco products.* (Propel Center for Population Impact- University of Waterloo.


What is flavoured tobacco?
Fruit and candy-flavoured tobacco products such as cigarillos (little cigars), water pipe tobacco, smokeless tobacco and menthol cigarettes are available in chocolate, mint, cherry, peach, strawberry and other fruit and candy flavours that are appealing to youth. These flavours mask the harsh taste of tobacco and make it easier for youth to become addicted.


More youth smoking in Nova Scotia
Here in Atlantic Canada, 20% of our youth (grades 9-12) report smoking a cigarette in the last 30 days. Nationally, the statistic is 14%. In looking at flavours, more than a third of Nova Scotia youth smokers smoked menthol cigarettes in the previous 30 days. Nationally, the statistic is 32%. (Propel Centre for Population Impact – University of Waterloo)


Current policies across Canada
There is growing provincial action to ban flavoured tobacco.  In Alberta, on December 11, 2013, Royal Assent was given to legislation to ban flavoured tobacco, with the legislation now awaiting proclamation and expected to come into force in 2014. In Ontario, on December 18, 2013, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews introduced a bill in the Ontario Legislative Assembly to ban flavoured tobacco. The Ontario bill has had some debate at second reading and has the support of all three parties.  Other provinces have stated that they are considering legislation to ban flavoured tobacco as well.

Since July 5, 2010, the federal Tobacco Act has banned flavoured cigarettes, cigarillos and blunt wraps. Cigarillos are defined as cigars weighing 1.4g or less, or as having a cigarette filter. Tobacco companies have avoided the federal definition by marketing flavoured cigarillos weighing just more than 1.4g.

About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the Society has the most impact, against the most cancers, in the most communities in Canada. Building on our progress, we are working with Canadians to change cancer forever. For more information, visit or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934).


Background on the MQO Omnibus Survey
MQO’s Omnibus Monthly consists of a random sample of 400 Nova Scotians through a mixed-mode survey (telephone and online). The survey used a probability-based sample drawn from the iView Atlantic Research Panel. The margin for error was +/-4.9%. Data was collected between January 27th and February 4th, 2014. Weighting was employed by the age and gender to ensure the results reflect the total population based on the latest Census data.

Heather Creighton Spriet

Canadian Cancer Society Nova Scotia Division
T: 902.423.6183 T/C: 902.483-5027