This week is National Non-smoking Week in Canada. In response, the Canadian Cancer Society, B.C. and Yukon, is calling on the British Columbian government to ban all flavoured tobacco products in the province. The aim of the society’s request for the ban is to reduce the total number of tobacco related deaths in B.C.
I am a long-standing volunteer with the society and a fourth-year nursing student at UNBC. It is my opinion that flavoured tobacco is perceived as socially acceptable by youth because of the misconception that the products are safer in nature due to their packaging. The wrongful use of images such as green apples or bright red cherries creates the illusion that these products are less harmful. The use of images associated with health and healthy eating is a misrepresentation that is putting Prince George youth at risk for lung cancer and COPD, among other chronic diseases.