Time running out for menthol

| May 3, 2016

The government of Canada seems set on moving forward with a proposal to ban menthol in cigarettes.

On Friday, the Minister for Health Jane Philpott announced a consultation on a proposal to ‘restrict menthol flavoured tobacco products on the Canadian market…’

‘The proposal would build on changes that came into force in 2009 and 2015, which banned the use of certain additives, including flavours like chocolate and bubble gum, in all cigarettes, blunt wraps and most cigars including little cigars, to make them less attractive to youth,’ according to a Health Canada press note.

‘This new proposal would expand on these restrictions by prohibiting menthol, an additive used by tobacco manufacturers to improve the palatability of their products and increase their appeal.

‘Research has shown that an important way to curb lifetime smoking is to prevent youth from starting to smoke in the first place.

‘Despite success in reducing smoking rates among youth to a record low, recent data points to a spike in sales of menthol products and illustrates that youth smoke menthol cigarettes.

‘This research supports restrictions on flavoured tobacco, including those with menthol, in order to reduce their appeal to youth.

‘A 30-day consultation period will begin when a Notice describing the proposal is published in Canada Gazette, Part I on April 30, 2016.’

According to the Health Canada note, sales of menthol cigarettes have increased significantly recently. Beginning in 2009, menthol cigarette sales increased for five consecutive years and, by 2014, they were 14 percent higher than they were in 2008.

And according to the latest Youth Smoking Survey, of young Canadians who are current smokers, 37 percent reported using a menthol cigarette during the past 30 days.

Category: Breaking News

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