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Join the movement! You can play an active part in achieving the first tobacco-free generation by adopting a no-tobacco […]

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Unmask the Murderer of the Century! Register your group of teens for an activity meant to guess the identity of the murderer of the century and the weapon used to commit the crime.

What? Using hints and compelling staging, teens are invited to identify the murderer of the century and the traps that […]

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Why do the tobacco companies launch all kinds of new products?

Tobacco companies use sneaky marketing tactics to foster dependency on their deadly products among teens. Why? The answer is simple: courting young smokers – the younger the better – is the industry’s way of ensuring it has clients for years to come.

Anti-smoking campaigns and strategies really work, so there are fewer smokers these days. As a result, the tobacco companies have to work hard to attract new consumers. One of their methods is to market more attractive and more original products.

Flavour additives

To attract teens, tobacco manufacturers use fruity or sugary flavour additives to conceal the true taste, odour and harmful effects of their products.

Flavour additives mask the harshness of the tobacco smoke. Because these tobacco products are laced with sugary or fruity flavours, teens find their first attempts at smoking more satisfying and are therefore more likely to continue.

Flavours are designed to reduce the perception of danger. Certain compounds mask the discomfort normally experienced by smokers, including respiratory tract irritation. The smoker easily continues to smoke and deeply absorb the nicotine, therefore, which leads to dependency.

Tobacco products are also aromatized in order to dissimulate the odour and harmfulness of second-hand smoke behind sweet-smelling perfumes. The smoker may be smelling cherry or candy, but the second-hand smoke is no less harmful than that of regular cigarettes.

In reality, the smoke from small flavoured cigars disperses 67% to 200% more tar into the air than a cigarette and just as much nicotine.

Flavoured tobacco products give the impression that they’re made to be consumed on a recreational and occasional basis, rather than to foster addiction. As these products conceal their true nature, people who consume them don’t always view themselves as smokers. By the time they realize they’re addicted, it’s too late.

Put the focus on packaging

Since other forms of marketing and promoting tobacco are banned in Canada, the use of the package as a promotional tool is of prime importance to tobacco companies.

In order to attract teens, companies therefore invest heavily in packaging. Packages are made to resemble electronic gadgets (iPod, cell phones), candy wrappers, lipstick tubes, or any other object popular with teens. The goal is to portray smoking as modern and cool.

The colours, designs and words used on packages also contribute to the belief that tobacco products are less dangerous than they actually are.

For example, "silver" packs are usually pale in colour and give the impression that the cigarettes they contain are less harmful. The same applies to long, thin cigarettes, those containing so-called "active carbon" filters, and of course, the infamous flavoured cigarillos. All this is marketing !

Tobacco product packaging also features attractive images of luxury, virility, femininity, and so forth. For example, the tobacco industry appeals to young women by touting long and slender cigarettes. The intent is to suggest that feminine-looking cigarettes are lighter and less toxic, when in truth they have the same concentration of nicotine as other products.

And that’s not all: Tobacco packaging is also designed to reduce the effectiveness of health warnings and encourage the erroneous belief that some products are less dangerous. For example, the tobacco industry uses brand image and colour to divert attention away from health warnings. What’s more, the shape of the package and the manner in which it opens often make the warning less visible.

There is no safe tobacco

It’s simple, nicotine or no nicotine, any smoke released in the combustion of a product poses a danger to the respiratory system. And smoke is smoke, even if it smells like candy. Smoke, in any form, is anything but safe.”

The SHISHA, also known as the narguila, or hookah, is increasingly popular among teens in Québec. It’s a kind of water pipe used to smoke tobacco.

Shisha products are attractive because they come in a number of sweet, fruity flavours. For first-time smokers, the experience is much less unpleasant with a shisha than with a cigarette, because the smoke is filtered through water and doesn’t irritate the throat as much.

However, smoking a shisha is just as dangerous as smoking a cigarette. It exposes smokers to the same poisonous by-products (tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine, etc.) and poses the same risk of addiction, cancer, cardiovascular disease and lung disease.

Depending on the type of device, the length of the session and the method used, shisha smokers can inhale up to 48 times more smoke than cigarette smokers. In other words, they’re exposed to the by-products of more than 100 cigarettes!

Because they’re bigger, CIGARS give off three to five times more harmful products than cigarettes when burned.

So you think cigars aren’t dangerous if you don’t inhale the smoke? Well, you’d be wrong! The toxic elements still attack your mouth, tongue, gums and palate. The more cigars you smoke, the greater your risk of developing cancer of the mouth. Click here to see some photos of the diseases they cause it’s not pretty, is it!

Although cigarillos (small cigars) seem innocent enough, they’re still dangerous. Their smoke contains 67% to 200% more tar than cigarette smoke, and just as much nicotine. It’s not for nothing that flavoured cigarillos have been banned in Canada since July 2010. However, the tobacco industry is lobbying hard to have the ban lifted.

So-called "smokeless" tobacco is just as dangerous.

CHEWING TOBACCO and snuff all cause addiction and are a threat to health. People who use these products are more likely to suffer from mouth cancer, pancreatic cancer, cardiovascular diseases and so on. In addition, they tend to experience more dental problems (cavities, tooth loss, gum disease, bad breath, etc.).

SNUS, another kind of smoke-free tobacco, is moist tobacco powder usually sold in small packs resembling teabags that are placed behind the upper lip and kept there for anything from a few minutes to several hours.

Because snus isn’t inhaled, it doesn’t harm the lungs. However, it contains more nicotine than cigarettes. Although we don’t yet know all its negative effects, we do know it increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. The World Health Organization has declared it to be a carcinogenic substance.

The ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES (or e-cigarettes) are imitation cigarettes that produce propylene glycol vapour instead of smoke. The increasingly widespread availability and consumption of electronic cigarettes is the subject of considerable controversy:

  • E-cigarettes are not regulated in Canada, notably in terms of advertising and sales to minors;
  • There are no quality standards governing the manufacturing of e-cigarettes.
  • Not enough is known about the real dangers posed by the substances absorbed when consuming e-cigarettes.
  • The chemical contaminants detected in e-cigarettes are not listed on the package.
  • Misleading labelling: of 13 products tested by The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), nine were found to have considerable irregularities.
  • Products labelled as “nicotine-free” hardly passed the test because two-thirds (6/9) were in fact found to contain it.
  • Contribute to renormalize smoking in our society.

Want to bring about change? Here are some ideas sure to inspire you

We invite you to talk to other people about what you think. A lot of teens are taken in by products that seem attractive at first glance. By talking about them, you’ll be helping to destroy myths, provide good information and help other people to make the right decisions.

Want to put your ideas into action? See how you can by joining the movement !

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