Canada pulls fruit and candy flavoured cigarettes off store shelves

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Toronto -

Canada is pulling flavoured cigarettes and cigars off store shelves today to discourage children and youth from picking up the habit.
The legislation makes it illegal for retailers to sell cigarettes, cigarillos and blunt wraps which contain specific additives or flavourings aimed at youth.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the government is committed to protecting youth from "unscrupulous marketing practices by the tobacco industry."
He is calling on tobacco producers and retailers to respect the spirit of the legislation, as well as its legal obligations.
The Canadian Cancer society is applauding the tough new law, calling it the "best legislation in the world restricting flavoured tobacco."
The society says tobacco products flavoured with candy, ice cream and fruit flavours can be a trigger for kids who would never otherwise start smoking.
Retailers have had the past nine months to remove the flavoured products from their shelves. Store owners now caught selling the flavoured tobacco products will be subject to potential enforcement action, including fines.
The cancer society's senior policy analyst, Rob Cunningham, says the law will protect kids from picking up a smoke and will also encourage more adults to quit.
"It is simply wrong to be having an addictive, deadly product that has flavours like peach or mint or cherry or chocolate," he said. "It is wonderful that these products will be off the market.
The anti-tobacco legislation was passed into law in October 2009 after receiving support from all political parties.
While some tobacco manufacturers may try to find loopholes within the new legislation, Cunningham said federal health minister Leona Aglukkaq has promised to deal with any attempts to get around the law.
According to Cunningham, the ban on flavoured cigarettes and cigarillos is an important step forward for public health, and is particularly significant for teens.
He added however that more needed to be done to amp up anti-smoking initiatives for youth.
He pointed to a Statistics Canada survey conducted for Health Canada showed teen smoking from 15 to 19 year-olds had decreased from 20 per cent in 1999 to 15 per cent in 2008, but has since been stalled.
"In terms of youth we have made important progress in the last decade, but it has been stalled in recent years," he said.
"We have a lot more to do."

Organizations: Canadian Cancer society, Statistics Canada, Health Canada

Geographic location: Canada, Toronto

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Recent comments

  • Randy
    July 20, 2010 - 13:03

    What ever happened to Democracy?

  • Calvin
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    I am not a smoker, though I will smoke the occasional Captain Black cigar while golfing, but unless I am mistaken, the previous generation picked up smoking without having cherry and chocolate flavored cigarellos to smoke. The only way government is going to prevent children from smoking is to ban it altogether. You will still have to deal with contraband smokes, but it is a start. We all know smoking wont be banned permanently because government depends on the tax revenues produced by cigarette sales. This legislation is about the equivalent of throwing a bucket of sand on a brush fire. Kids are still gonna smoke, only now they will smell like pure tobacco instead of cherry scented tobacco.

  • unheard of
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    if you're going to ban this why don't you just make tobacco illegal. I completely agree with OMG statement. Kids aren't buying flavoured cigarettes to pick it up. They're expensive. They're buying the cheapest cigarettes that they can get. Not just that kids are doing it because they know they'll get in trouble for it and they're looking to rebel against their parents.

  • Seamus
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    I agree completely OMG. When are they going to pull chocolate bars, candy, chips and all the other junk off the shelves that kids are allowed to buy. Refined sugars are responsible for diabetes and are just as likely causes for heart disease and is the main cause of obesity which leads to any number of diseases. Not to mention that I have never met a smoker in my life who tried smoking because it was cherry flavoured. The Conservatives are full of smoke screens like this to convince you that they are doing good so you will forget or not notice how they have cut back on every social program in the country, completely eliminating some, and somehow have still managed to destroy our economy and skyrocket the national debt.

  • OMG
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    So when are they going to pull flavoured liquor off the shelves... Liquor is just as bad, deadlier even... You always here people groaning about smoking... well what about drinking...

  • wel
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    i think its about time that Canada make the people make thier own choices, as for The Canadian Cancer society, its about time to realize that like it or not smokers got rights to and put just as much into the pityful health care system we got to

  • Anon
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    what a load of crap! It's bad enough you can't even look at the ciggarettes in the stores no more now they are taking out flavored smokes? Why?!? how is fruit and vanilla smokes aimed at kids when all their parents send them off to recess with is Snack cakes and cheesie poofs. Give me a break. Why not allow Green Pepper, Garden salad, Turnip and greens flavored smokes then? Kids hate vegetables right?

    now blunt wraps... oh my god why! blunt wraps are advertised as TOBACCO PRODUCTS BECAUSE CANABIS IS ILLEGAL. These things are used for smoking pot and nothing else anyone who says they smoked tobacco in these things either practiced rolling blunts or are one of a very very select few people who do. This move is aimed at cannabis smokers only. It doesn't take a genious to know that over 90 percent of people who buy Zig Zags and Blunt wraps or Juicy Jays or pipes and bongs are using it for Pot and not tobacco. Ever smoke a cigarette out of a 30 inch bong? Youd destroy yourself spose your a smoker for the past 50 years.

    Last time i checked Canada is a free country and we didnt need big brother to babysit us but apparantly that isnt the case.

    Food for thought: Although the legal age to purchase tobacco is 19 it is LEGAL to smoke at SIXTEEN.


    So i guess they are going to take coolers and flavored wines out of the liquor store as well as flavored vodka and other spirits. Alcohol causes cancers just like Tobacco does and it has all kinds of fruity flavors aimed at children

    This would be laughable if they didn't actually get away with this non sense.

    Whether you smoke or not you must surely be able to see the fault in the logic of this kind of law making?