VICTORIA— With the end of another national non-smoking week, New Democrat health spokesperson Judy Darcy, is again calling on Christy Clark’s government to ban flavoured tobacco products and keep young British Columbians from ever taking up nicotine in the first place.
“We hope that this is the year that the Christy Clark government finally takes action to ban flavoured tobacco products, because we know that they are often the first exposure for young people,” said Darcy.
“There is a private member’s bill on the order paper under my name – the Tobacco Control Amendment Act (2015) – that the government could simply bring forward and pass this spring. Alternatively, they could at least bring forward legislation of their own.
“But it is long past time that the Christy Clark government took steps to restrict the sale of these products.”
According to Darcy, the Canadian Cancer Society has repeatedly been calling for a ban on these types of products, because they believe that they are being targeted directly to young non-smokers. The most recent gimmick is a menthol capsule cigarette. When the flavoured filter is crushed, it releases a burst of menthol flavour. The menthol helps overcome the taste of the smoke while young smokers are getting addicted.
Twenty nine per cent of smokers in high school smoke menthol cigarettes.
“It’s all well and good to have stop-smoking programs, and I support those,” said Darcy. “But if we can prevent kids from getting addicted in the first place, we can prevent needless addictions and keep these kids healthy.”