PORT DOVER, AUGUST 24, 2012 – Members of HEAT, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s volunteer youth group, will be holding a beach party this Friday, August 31, to gather support for a ban on flavoured tobacco products.
The free event, which is part of the group’s Flavour Gone campaign, will run from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Port Dover beach. Beachgoers will be invited to participate in interactive games and activities, and youth volunteers wearing brightly coloured morph suits will be handing out free prizes to kids and teens.
“Flavoured tobacco is a huge issue today because the tobacco industry is using these youth-friendly flavours to entice young people,” said Stephanie Doucette, a volunteer with HEAT. “We want to protect the youth of Canada from trying, and becoming addicted to, tobacco industry products.”
The campaign’s slogan, Cancer Shouldn’t Come in a Candy Wrapper, addresses the group’s concern that flavoured tobacco products recruit youth and first-time users by creating products that look, smell and taste like candy.
In addition to raising awareness about the Flavour Gone campaign, the HEAT youth also plan to gather signatures from those who support a proposed federal ban of all flavoured tobacco products.
In 2009, a federal act entitledCracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youthwas passed, and as a result some flavoured tobacco products were banned. The tobacco industry moved quickly to exploit loopholes within the bill by introducing new products and changing the sizes of the existing ones to ensure these flavoured products remained on store shelves.
HEAT’s current campaign is seeking the implementation of a more comprehensive piece of legislation that would ban all flavours on all tobacco products. The group is also requesting that future tobacco products be included in the flavour ban as well.
“It is extremely exciting, and important, to see teens actively being part of a legislative solution to help curb youth tobacco use and protect the health of our community,” said Marcia VandenBussche, Youth Engagement Coordinator at the Health Unit.
For more information about the Flavour Gone campaign visit www.flavourgone.ca, or contact the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit at 519-426-6170 Ext. 3276.
Youth Engagement Coordinator
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Ext. 3276 at either 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623