Kudos to Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews, who tabled new legislation to ban the sale of fruit-flavored tobacco last week. This key policy will strengthen 2010 federal legislation (Bill C-32) that had loopholes the tobacco industry easily skirted. The federal government does not appear to be moving to amend Bill C-32, so provincial action is warranted to protect Ontario’s young people.
The University of Waterloo’s Propel Centre for Population Health Impact reported recently that almost half of Ontario students in grades 9 to 12 who used tobacco reported using flavored tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigarillos, smokeless tobacco and waterpipes. Young people reported these behaviors after Ottawa passed Bill C-32.