Toronto, ON Oct. 15, 2014 – Ontario’s doctors are calling on government to bring back tobacco legislation banning candy and fruit-flavoured cigarettes while adding to it a ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes, as new information shows that underage smokers who use menthol cigarettes smoke more often and are more likely to continue the habit later in life.
The new data shows that nearly a quarter of young smokers in Ontario report smoking menthol cigarettes and that youth in grades 9-12 who smoke menthol cigarettes smoke almost a pack more per week. Those same youth, the information reveals, are almost three times more likely to report that they intend to continue smoking compared to their non-menthol smoking peers.
“Tobacco is still a very significant health issue in Ontario,” said Dr. Ved Tandan, President of the Ontario Medical Association. “Preventing children, young adults and others from smoking must be a goal for policy makers, educators and physicians alike. Addressing the availability of products, such as menthol and flavoured cigarettes, which encourage youth to start or continue smoking should be a part of this strategy.”
Findings have shown that menthol produces a cooling and desensitizing effect on the mouth and throat. In fact, menthol can also significantly reduce irritation caused by exposure to nicotine, and can lead to inhibition of nicotine metabolism, thus allowing the smoker to more comfortably use nicotine for prolonged periods of time.
Evidence suggests that at least some of the youth smoking menthol cigarettes choose to do so because they didn’t like the flavour of regular cigarettes and their decision to smoke is facilitated by what they perceive to be better tasting ones. Additionally, some may smoke menthol products because they like the minty flavour. Like candy and fruit-flavoured tobacco products, menthol sweetens smoking and can be a way to entice the novice smoker.
“The evidence clearly shows that menthol makes it easier and more likely for kids to smoke,” said Dr. Tandan. “Ontario’s doctors are calling on government to ban menthol and candy-flavoured tobacco products now.”
Ontario’s doctors have long been a leading voice against the use of tobacco and have regularly reported on the subsequent health risks. In recent years, governments have passed several significant pieces of legislation and implemented a number of initiatives including: prohibiting the sale of tobacco to people under 19 years of age; limiting tobacco advertising; eliminating smoking from the workplace and public places; and curbing exposure to second-hand smoke.
But there is more work to be done.
“Ontario’s doctors are committed to working with government to reduce tobacco use, and we look forward to helping more patients quit, while doing all we can to ensure youth don’t start to smoke,” said Dr. Tandan.
You can adjust your cookie settings by navigating the tabs on the left hand side.
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and allow users to log in. Without this type of cookie, our services won't work properly or won't be able to provide certain basic features and functionalities.
This setting cannot be changed.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
These cookies are used to link web visits to social media campaigns conducted through social sites, such as Facebook. Our ad management providers use these cookies to populate an advertisement for us when you visit other websites.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!
Google Analytics page views are anonymized, with no personally identifying information. These cookies are used to analyse how visitors use a website, for instance which pages are visited most often, in order to provide a better user experience.
We participate in advertising programs that display advertising about us on other unaffiliated websites (e.g. Facebook). We customize this advertising to you based on your having visited our website.
We use technologies such as cookies and pixels to collect information on how users navigate our website.
If you do not want to receive interest-based advertising on other websites or would like to exercise choices about the third party advertising networks that provide you with interest-based advertising, please see the opt-out options below. Please note that if you opt-out you may still receive online advertising from us on other websites or applications. However, these advertisements will not be displayed to you based on your interests.
Interest-Based Advertising and Analytics. You can opt-out of network advertising programs that track your activities across multiple websites to deliver personalized advertising content to you. Please visit Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada Opt-Out Page, NAI Opt-Out Page and the Ad Choices Opt-Out Page.
Cookies. If you would prefer not to accept cookies, you can: (i) go to your browser settings and change your settings so you are notified when you receive a cookie and you can choose whether or not to accept it; (ii) disable existing cookies by selecting this option in your browser; or (iii) set your browser to automatically reject any cookies. Disabling cookies may negatively impact how oma.org works for you by breaking the “stay signed in” functionality and parts of the “My Account” application.
Privacy Officer150 Bloor St. WSuite 900Toronto, ONM5S 3C1