Canadian Cancer Society statement in support of Bill 149

20 February 2014

Toronto -

The Canadian Cancer Society applauds MPP France Gélinas for the introduction of Bill 149, Health Statute Law Amendment Act (Healthy Decisions Made Easy), which aims to help Ontarians make healthy food choices and ensure we are on the path to a smoke-free Ontario. This is a positive step forward in preventing cancer and saving lives.

About one-third of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active, and maintaining a healthy body weight. Tobacco use is responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths and 85% of lung cancer deaths and remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Ontario.

The proposed ban on the sale of flavoured, new and smokeless tobacco products will reduce incentives, especially for youth, to try or start using these products.  Recent studies have shown that youth are using flavoured tobacco products - 57,000 Ontario youth in grades 6-12 reported using flavoured tobacco in 2010/2011. This number is staggering and we must work together to stop this easy access to kids by the tobacco industry.

We urge the Ontario government to pass this important legislation that will save lives.

The Canadian Cancer Society also supports the passage of Bill 131 — the Youth Smoking Prevention Act. This comprehensive proposed legislation would see a ban on the sale of flavoured tobacco products, increased fines for selling tobacco to youth, increased enforcement powers for tobacco enforcement officers and other measures that help keep tobacco out of the hands of youth.

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and advocate to governments for important social change.

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca today.

For more information, please contact:

Justin Edmonstone

Public Affairs

Canadian Cancer Society

Ontario Division

Phone: 416-323-7026