Health Canada announced another important step in the fight against smoking this month. An amendment to the Tobacco Act was finalized that bans menthol, a flavour used in tobacco products. The ban applies to the use of menthol in cigarettes, blunt wraps and most cigars sold on the Canadian market and is said to expand flavour restrictions to 95% of the tobacco market in Canada. This amendment adds to other bans that came into force in recent years, which ban the use of other additives, including flavours like chocolate and bubble gum.
The compound menthol gives a cooling sensation that masks the typical irritating effect of tobacco smoke, which makes it easier for youth and first time smokers to experiment with smoking products. Preventing youth from starting to smoke is one of the most effective means of decreasing tobacco use in Canada. While current youth smoking rates have reached a record low, data shows that a significant number of young Canadian smokers smoke menthol products. Like other cigarettes, menthol cigarettes harm nearly every organ system in the body. Smoking causes many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease like COPD.
Read the full press release on the ban from Health Canada here.
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