Prime Minister Stephen Harper Hosts Student Roundtable to Discuss Anti-Smoking Efforts

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today met with Ottawa-area high school students about their efforts to reduce smoking among young people. Meeting the students at St. Joseph High School, the Prime Minister took the opportunity to highlight a new, tougher law that will make tobacco products less accessible and appealing to youth, positioning Canada as a world leader in tobacco control. He was joined by representatives of the Canadian Lung Association, as well as other anti-tobacco groups that lead outreach activities in high schools in Eastern Ontario.

“Our government’s main priority is the health and well-being of Canadians, particularly our children and youth,” said the Prime Minister. “That is why our government introduced the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act as one step to help prevent young people from starting to smoke and forming a life-long addiction to an unhealthy habit.”

The Act was introduced by the Harper Government on May 26, 2009, and became law on October 8, 2009. It protects children and youth from tobacco industry marketing practices by putting an end to the selling of tobacco products in single or small quantity “kiddy-packs” that are affordable to youth. It also prohibits the addition of flavourings and additives which give a candy flavour to little cigars, cigarettes and blunt wraps. The Act also prohibits tobacco advertising in daily newspapers and free entertainment weeklies.

“Our government is making tobacco products less affordable, less accessible and less appealing to our young people,” said the Prime Minister. “We can help prevent young people from starting to smoke with tough new laws and efforts like those of the Canadian Lung Association and anti-smoking student groups.”

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