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OTTAWA, Ontario -- In an effort to discourage smoking by Canadian children, the federal government will introduce legislation to prohibit the addition of flavors—such as fruit, candy and bubble gum—to cigarillos, news agency AHN reported.
The proposal, in a bill titled "An Act to Amend the Tobacco Act" and announced last week by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, would also mandate little cigars and blunt wraps to be packaged in a minimum of 20-count packages. It would also not allow advertising of the products in publications that are read by young Canadians, the report stated.
The Canadian Convenience Stores Association (CCSA) supports the proposal. CCSA President Dave Bryans told AHN to protect youth from nicotine use, the proposal should make it illegal to purchase, own and use cigarettes and other tobacco products among minors.
Bryans added, "You don't see teenagers standing outside of high schools in Canada drinking beer, because they are not allowed to. So if we're that serious about teen smoking, and retailers and our association is, then let's just get on with it so we can all move forward and run businesses instead of having one Band-Aid solution after another."
In pushing for a ban on youth smoking, the CCSA cited a 2009 study released by the Depaul University, the University of Florida and the U.S. National Cancer Institute, which found the most effective method to cut youth smoking rates is by curbing tobacco sales, passing use and possession legislation and tapping existing tobacco control measures.
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