Canadian Cancer Society applauds bold decision to include menthol in proposed flavoured tobacco ban in Ontario but urges earlier implementation

24 November 2014

TORONTO -

The Canadian Cancer Society welcomes the announcement of a ban on flavoured tobacco and applauds the bold decision to include menthol. The precedent-setting proposed legislation is a giant step forward in protecting the health of Ontario youth and preventing cancer.

"With the help of our youth advocate volunteers, we have worked long and hard for this proposed legislation to ban flavoured tobacco and we are especially pleased that menthol is included,” says Rowena Pinto, Vice President, Public Affairs, Ontario Division. “We’re proud that Ontario is the first province to take this bold step.”

“Flavoured tobacco, especially menthol, is appealing to youth and since the vast majority of smokers start before the age of 18, this important legislation — if passed — will help reduce youth smoking rates significantly,” Pinto added. “That’s why it’s important for the government to act swiftly and implement the menthol ban at the same time as the flavoured tobacco ban. We do not want to give the tobacco industry more time to fight this important step.”

Flavoured tobacco products increase the appeal of smoking among youth and encourage experimentation. According to the Youth Smoking Survey, in Ontario 57,000 students in Grades 6-12 reported using a flavoured tobacco product in the previous 30 days. It also showed that one in four Ontario youth who smoke say they are smoking menthol cigarettes. High school students who smoke menthol smoke far more cigarettes per week and are almost three times more likely to keep smoking.

As part of the Big Tobacco Lies youth driven Society campaign, close to 3,000 postcards have been collected and sent to MPPs to #endtheflavour.

“Since flavoured tobacco products target youth, this ban will help prevent my peers from becoming the next generation of smokers,” says Shadi Mousavi Nia, Society youth volunteer and Big Tobacco Lies campaign leader. “The time to act is now. I am tired of witnessing cancer ruin lives and that is why I urge MPPs to pass this legislation quickly.”

The Canadian Cancer Society is also pleased with other health measures included in the proposed legislation such as the regulation of e-cigarettes and menu labelling.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization dedicated to preventing cancer, saving lives and supporting people living with cancer through research funding, services and advocacy. We are Canada’s largest charity fighting all types of cancer and leading authority on cancer statistics and information. To learn more, call 1 888 939-3333 or visit cancer.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Justin Edmonstone

Public Affairs

Canadian Cancer Society

Ontario Division

Phone: 416-323-7026