NIAGARA REGION, May 31, 2014
Every year, on May 31, the World Health Organization and partners mark World No Tobacco Day. This year, on Saturday May 31, 2014, members of the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s volunteer youth group, HEAT, will be joining youth across Central Western Ontario to advocate and spread awareness at Springlicious in Niagara Falls about how the tobacco industry targets youth through adding flavours to products and bright colours to packaging.
“Petition signatures will be collected from the public to show their support for banning flavours from tobacco products. Educational games and activities as well as social media contests, flash mobs and a colourful mosh as the grand finale will all be taking place”, explains Brodie Ricker, a youth volunteer with HEAT.
Their efforts will be supporting the Freeze the Industry campaign which advocates against the tobacco industry to protect the health of youth. As a youth led movement they have garnered the support of peers to advocate for a moratorium on tobacco products.
“The tobacco industry creates innovative products and new brands as marketing tactics to target young Canadians. Every package change, new brand or product is intended to increase the sales of their deadly products by appealing to new youth audiences,” said Noor Cheema, a youth volunteer with HEAT.
The campaign is striving to create healthier communities, free from the manipulation and deceptive tactics used by the tobacco industry. The industry knows it is important for them to entice youth to start using their products, and that flavouring their products is one way to do that. In fact, 70% of youth in grades six to nine and 80% of youth aged 15 to 19 who had used any non-cigarette tobacco products in the last 30 days had used a flavoured product.
Youth from across Canada will benefit from a flavour ban that prevents the tobacco industry from being able to change their products. Abolishing the use of new flavour additives to tobacco products will help further reduce other possibilities for young people to start using tobacco.
Nicole Stone, Health Promoter
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
905-318-5367 ext, 315