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Call for tighter restrictions on cigarette advertising


Michelle Thompson

Sun Media

July 21, 2008

An anti-smoking advocate is calling on the provincial and federal governments to tighten restrictions on cigarette advertising.

"There should be a full ban," said Les Hagen, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health. "It's high time for the federal government to live up to their global obligations and to serve the health of Canadians."

Hagen's comments came after a full-page Export 'A' advertisement ran in an Edmonton alternative weekly, pitching a "contemporary new look" with the "same classic taste."

As required by law, the ad also includes a warning, advising readers of lung damage that can result from smoking.

On July 1, a cigarette advertising ban kicked in, requiring retailers to remove tobacco products from sales and store them out of sight.

Advertising or promoting tobacco was also banned in places that sell the product.

However, advertising outside those establishments is still above-board, and Hagen said that concerns him.

"Kids are going to see those ads," he said. "We know advertising has an impact on consumption and we know young people are particularly vulnerable."

Just last month, Edmonton-Meadowlark MLA Raj Sherman, parliamentary assistant to the health and wellness minister, said the retail display ban was a step in the right direction.

"With this change, tobacco product retail marketing will no longer play a role in encouraging young Albertans to take up this harmful habit."





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