Canada - ban on flavored tobacco products comes into effect July 2010..

Ontario Health Promotion Minister
Margarett Best smiles after painting
a red circle around candy-flavoured
cigarillos during a press conference
Tuesday, June 29th.

June 30, 2010 - Canada - bill to ban flavored tobacco products gets final approval.. The ban on flavored tobacco products will come into effect as early as July 2010.

Anti-tobacco advocates are bracing for a counterattack from tobacco firms after Ontario and the federal government moved Tuesday, June 29th to ban kiddy-friendly flavoured cigarillos. “Our work on this front is far from over. Some tobacco companies seem to be intent on manoeuvring around our health protection laws,” Ontario Health Promotion Minister Margarett Best warned in London, Ontario where she announced the ban.

The ban takes effect July 1 and prohibits the sale and distribution of flavoured cigarillos, with the exception of menthol flavour. The province also is requiring unflavoured cigarillos to be sold in packages of at least 20, the same as cigarettes, in an effort to make the little cigars unaffordable for young people.

Packaged like crayons and candy, the little cigars come in chocolate, grape, strawberry, cherry, bubblegum, pina colada and other flavours. Some retail for less than $2. Best said the products were clearly aimed at youth and children.

By changing the wrapping from paper to a tobacco product, the industry was able to have the flavoured cigarillos classified as a cigar, avoiding the packaging and warning requirements of cigarettes. Best said the Ontario law allows the government to change the definition of cigarillos if the tobacco industry changes the product to sidestep the legislation.

“My staff and I at the Ministry of Health Promotion are working diligently to ensure our efforts to protect young people are not thwarted by actions taken by tobacco companies to circumvent federal and provincial laws,” she said.

Middlesex-London medical officer of health Graham Pollett said the flavoured cigarillos appeal to young people who might think they are less dangerous than cigarettes. That is not the case, he said, warning the next tobacco product that will likely be launched in Ontario is snus.

An Imperial Tobacco spokesperson said his company supports the Ontario law’s intent. “We believe kids should not be smoking at all, this is for adults that make a choice knowing the risks,” Eric Gagnon said. But the ban will only add to the problem of contraband cigarettes, he said.

Reference: Flavoured cigarillos prompt ban move by JOHN MINER, The London Free Press, 6/30/2010.

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Still sucking our youngsters in...