4 out of 5 people support a ban on flavoured tobacco products

20 January 2014

REGINA -

Armed with a new public opinion poll showing overwhelming support, the Canadian Cancer Society is calling on the Wall government to ban the sale of all flavoured tobacco products.  The Ipsos Reid poll found that 81% of Saskatchewan residents support legislation to ban fruit and candy flavoured tobacco, including 63% of smokers.  The survey of 516 residents was conducted just before Christmas.  “These results clearly show that people in Saskatchewan want the Wall government to ban these deadly products which hook our youth,” says Donna Pasiechnik, Manager of tobacco control, media and government relations for the Canadian Cancer Society in Saskatchewan. “The public understands the need to protect young people from the predatory marketing practices of the tobacco industry.”

 

In Canada, many categories of tobacco products are heavily flavoured, including cigarillos (little cigars), water pipe tobacco, smokeless tobacco and menthol cigarettes. The flavours include 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.

 

 

Last fall the University of Waterloo released the results of a national Youth Smoking Survey which found that that more than half (54%) of youth tobacco users in Saskatchewan had tried a flavoured tobacco product.  “Every day the tobacco industry loses customers who die from tobacco-related illnesses. They need to replace those customers by getting kids hooked,” says Pasiechnik.

 

 

To kick off National Non Smoking Week, the Society is also launching a new website this week that will allow the public to show its support for a ban on flavoured tobacco.  By logging on to www.takeaction.cancer.ca, people can automatically send a letter of support to their MLA. “We know from this poll and talking to people that many are concerned about youth smoking.  This website allows them to express those concerns directly to their elected official,” says Donna Ziegler, Director cancer control for the Society.

 

 

Saskatchewan has had the highest teen smoking in Canada for 10 years in a row.  Twenty percent of 15-19 year olds smoke, compared to 11% nationally.  “Banning these kids-friendly products is one of the easiest ways for government to tackle our high youth smoking rates.  Alberta has already adopted legislation.  Ontario has also introduced a bill.  The sooner the Saskatchewan government acts, the sooner our youth will be protected,” added Pasiechnik.

 

 

 

Background on the Ipsos Reid Survey

The Ipsos Reid Online Omnibus survey consists of a random sample of more than 200,000 online panelists reflecting a typical and representative cross-section of Canadians.  A total of 516 Saskatchewan residents were surveyed regarding their support for a ban on flavoured tobacco during the week of December 13, 2013.  The survey is accurate to within +/-4.9% 19 times out of 20.

 

The survey question was:

On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘strongly oppose’ and 5 is ‘strongly support’ to  what extent do you agree or disagree with the following: 

The government of Saskatchewan should adopt legislation to ban all tobacco products with fruit and candy flavours as a measure to reduce tobacco use among youth.

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. Make your gift today at cancer.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Donna Pasiechnik

Manager, Tobacco Control, Media & Government Relations

Canadian Cancer Society

Saskatchewan Division

Phone: 306-790-9871