Currie urges ban on flavoured tobacco

Dave Stewart
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Sweet tasting cigarillos under fire from health advocates

Health Minister Doug Currie is encouraging Health Canada to bring in a national ban on candy-flavoured tobacco products.

Currie said he sent a letter to that effect, a letter that is currently on its way to Health Canada.

Opposition MLA James Aylward moved a motion on the floor of the P.E.I. legislature Tuesday night calling on the MLAs to come together in favour of banning the product in the province. The motion passed unanimously.

At present, candy-flavoured tobacco products cannot be sold on P.E.I. to anyone under the age of 19 but if the ban MLAs are hoping for ever comes to pass, the product wouldn’t be sold at all.

Flavoured tobacco products on the market now include little cigars and cigarillos, menthol cigarettes, spit tobacco and waterpipe tobacco.

“Right now, there’s no legislation passed in the country to ban candy-flavoured cigarettes but there is certainly a move afoot by the provinces and we’re one of them,’’ Currie told The Guardian following question period in the legislature Wednesday.

“I, as minister, will be sending a letter and we are advocating and encouraging Health Canada to make a national ban of the candy-flavoured (products) across the country.’’

Currie said the focus in the meantime will be making sure stores are not selling these or any other tobacco products to minors.

Aylward said his inspiration for moving the original motion was his 18-year-old son.

“I saw what was happening at (his) high school over the last number of years, the increased use (of candy-flavoured tobacco products),’’ Aylward said, who noted he sits on the board of the Canadian Cancer Society, P.E.I. division, and is privy to the increased use of the product by youths.

A national survey last year found more than half of Canadian high school students say they’ve tried smoking flavoured tobacco products.

The Canadian Cancer Society and other provincial organizations feel the products are being marketed to youth with their bright packaging and flavours, such as strawberry, chocolate and watermelon.

In the legislature, Aylward called that marketing strategy “shameful’’. In an interview with The Guardian later he wasn’t using softer language.

“I think it’s disgusting that these companies are allowed to target our youth to try and get them addicted in this fashion. I think it’s incumbent upon government to do something to stop it.’’

Pressure from the Canadian Cancer Society, P.E.I. division, led to a ban on minors using tanning beds, for example, two years ago.

“It’s a process. It’s a tool that we have to operate as Opposition on behalf of Islanders, to bring issues forward and part of it is what we’re doing here right now,’’ Aylward said, referring both the motion and having the media do a story on it.

Organizations: Health Canada, Canadian Cancer Society, Islanders

Geographic location: P.E.I.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Devil's Advocate
    May 08, 2014 - 22:55

    That's fine, Mr. Currie. I'll just order them online by the carton and make a killing selling them to people who like them- adults or children, since underground tobacco sales don't typically feature ID checks. ~~~~   I guess it's too bad for the small corner stores that make money from other goods when people come in to buy these products, though. I mean, it's been a few years since I've smoked a prime time, but I remember them going around at parties where only college-aged adults were present (with mixed drinks which were bought in the same corner stores prime times are sold in).  ~~~~~~~~~ Let me drop my sardonic tone for a minute and let all you folks in on something: No clear-minded individual should be impressed by this waste of red tape. If teenagers want to smoke, they will smoke, whether you take away the choices of adults or not.   The only way to stop teenagers from smoking is to teach them how to be healthy adults. Obviously this is hard. Obviously there are still going to be some teenagers who smoke. But just like sex education reduces teen pregnancy and STD transmission, proper substance education will reduce drug, tobacco, and alcohol use. Final note: Good intentions alone do not create effective policies.

  • Here's A Thought
    May 08, 2014 - 14:58

    How about banning some of the poisons that are being spread around on fields and lawns instead of silly flavorings.

  • SomeSense
    May 08, 2014 - 14:52

    Banning things does not work and is only the goal of the ignorant. If these are being sold to minors then fine and/or close those stores down. Banning them will only lead to another black market item where the money no longer goes to our province. If people want something they will do it regardless of what someone else may say is law. The goal should be to educate those in your care and help those who do want help getting off any substances but not to force your beliefs on everyone else. If someone is not infringing on the rights of someone else they should be left to themselves. The businesses that produce these should be allowed the stores that want to carry them should be allowed the adults that want to purchase them should be allowed.

    May 08, 2014 - 09:07

    I think that Aylward is barking up the wrong tree again, banning something that is not supposed to be sold to minors (his underage 18 year old son and friends being his motivation). Try busting the local area stores for selling the product to minors not out right banning the product. Every ADULT defiantly should have the option to buy what they want. Last time I was into a convenience store there was a sign on the door saying under 25 have ID ready to show for tobacco products. These flavored tobacco products aren't bringing as much disease and death as the burger love heart attack burgers. Better ban that too.... Anyone to say ban this but go out and shove a pound or more burger in their face better look at the health facts and then go look in the mirror!!!

    • don
      May 08, 2014 - 10:35

      but they will not hurt he stores as long as wes gets the hst. who cares about the health tax before health.

  • don
    May 08, 2014 - 07:07

    make the legal age of 25 for both smokes and booze. that will help.

  • LMAO
    May 08, 2014 - 06:37

    Couldnt the same argument be made for alcohol!? It comes in a variety of flavours and is more lethal when consumed in excess. Oh but wait, our liquor stores are not privatized thats right... Hmmmm