LETTER: Flavoured tobacco needs to go

Almost half of B.C.’s youth smokers are using flavoured tobacco products

Strawberry. A favourite fruit flavour for children. This makes me wonder why I see it in such a terrible form: tobacco.

Almost half of B.C.’s youth smokers are using flavoured tobacco products. Might seem as though the addition of fruit would make tobacco friendlier and healthier, right? Unfortunately, flavoured tobacco carries the same health and addiction risks as regular tobacco.

Research shows increasing tobacco taxes is the most effective way to reduce smoking rates and increasing taxes can help prevent youth from purchasing cigarettes or starting to smoke.

Also, it’s time to legislate smoke-free outdoor public places. Smoke-free parks, beaches and campuses create a positive environment for youth and people who want to quit. Considering that 40 municipalities in B.C. already have smoke-free outdoor place bylaws, it’s time to act and make this a provincewide policy. Second-hand smoke is never a fun time.

I’ve been affected by cancer just as you have. Cancer-causing products should never be masked by strawberry flavours, from which the second-hand smoke is just as bad.

This new year it’s time for not only individual commitments, but also a commitment from the B.C. government to help reduce smoking rates.

Paul Kim

Victoria

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