Flavored tobacco is making it tougher to curb the smoking habits among Manitoba youths, experts say.
According to a national survey conducted by the University of Waterloo between October 2010 and June 2011, 49% of the 7,471 Grade 9-12 surveyed students who smoked in Manitoba inhaled flavored tobacco.
"We've seen Manitoba youth rates decline (1% annually) and we need to get a handle on this before it's reversed," Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance executive director Murray Gibson said Monday. "It's also a concern that smokeless flavored tobacco use is getting even higher."
Gibson said that chewing tobacco has become a problem among local hockey, football and baseball teams.
Manitoba High School Athletics Association executive director Moe Glimcher confirmed that some high school coaches have confronted the problem.