Still sucking our youngsters in..

January 23, 2008 - Still sucking our youngsters in.. This is National Non-Smoking Week in Canada. Almost 200,000 Quebecers quit smoking last year but the tobacco companies continue to lure youngsters with gimmicks like flavored cigarettes (tinged with alcohol and food flavors), the province's director of public health, Dr. Alain Poirier said. Consumption of cigars and cigarillos is on the increase among high-school students. In 2006, about one student in five (22 per cent) tried one of these products. The flavored cigarettes can be bought individually or in slickly designed packs of four. A single smoke sells for $1.50 plus tax. The tobacco companies are looking for ways to attract youth, which is perverse, because (by law) they aren't allowed to sell tobacco products to young people. Another product, called snus, which is placed between the gum and upper lip but not chewed or swallowed, is being produced by Imperial Tobacco Canada. Quebec actress Mireille Deyglun, spokeswoman for the anti-smoking week, knows first hand the dangers of tobacco. Her father, brother and two cousins died of lung cancer, and she smoked from the age of 12 before quitting in 1996 at the age of 37. A study by Canadian researchers published last August concluded that the risk of heart attack was equally serious whether tobacco is smoked, chewed or used in a water pipe. ("Still Sucking 'em in" by Sue Montgomery, The Gazette, January 21, 2008) Canada should be concerned with less tobacco smell cigarettes that have been recently introduced. ( Related news briefs: Quebec Teens Switch from Cigarettes to Cigarillos, Hookah is worse than smoking cigarettes and du Maurier SNUS. Click on image to enlarge..