More than half of high school students surveyed in Canada who used tobacco said they tried candy-flavored products, say health groups calling for a ban on all such products.
Overall in Canada, 52 per cent (169,300) of students in Grades 9 to 12 who reported using tobacco during the 30 days before the survey was taken had used flavored tobacco products, according to the Youth Smoking Survey released Monday by a coalition of health groups.
'A lot of people are shocked that these products are on the market. They look like Halloween candy or lip gloss.'
- Donna Pasiechnik, Canadian Cancer Society
About 32 per cent (75,200) of students who smoked in the last 30 days reported using menthol cigarettes, indicates the survey, with its findings extrapolated from the sample of more than 50,000 students.
Tobacco products come in favours including watermelon, chocolate and strawberry. They are packaged in enticing colors aimed at children and carry no health warnings, said Donna Pasiechnik of the Canadian Cancer Society.
"A lot of people are shocked that these products are on the market," Pasiechnik said in interview with CBC Radio's The Morning Edition in Saskatchewan. "They look like Halloween candy or lip gloss."
"The key thing is for provincial governments and the federal government to ban all flavored tobacco products," said Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society in Ottawa.