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freeze the industryGrey Bruce youth were part of the youth showing their support for plain packaging on Parliament Hill this week, as part of the group calling on M.P's to implement PSP (Plain and Standardized Packaging).

Part of what makes smoking appear cool and attractive to young people is product design and packaging. That is why Freeze the Industry, a group of health conscious youth dedicated to stopping the tobacco industry from marketing its products to young people, held a demonstration on Parliament Hill on November 9 to ask the federal government to pass Bill S-5, which will introduce plain and standardized tobacco packaging and products in Canada. The Bill is currently in second reading.

"There is almost no tobacco advertising left in Canada, but tobacco packaging and product design are one of the last methods available." said Brooke Tomsett, Youth Advisor, with the Grey Bruce Health Unit. "The tobacco industry takes full advantage of these to be innovative and market their product as though it is like any other. Plain and standardized packaging, will prevent flashy marketing and package designs that target youth, like the slim lipstick style packs that target young women".

Freeze the Industry, along with many other health organizations across the country are calling for standardized packaging in the government's plans to adopt plain tobacco packaging. Plain and standardized packaging would feature only the brand name and prohibit all promotional features on all tobacco packaging, including colours, images, logos, slogans, distinctive fonts and finishes. The size and shape of cigarette packs and the product would also be standardized, prohibiting specialty packages like slim and super slim cigarettes that target young women and make the health warnings almost illegible. Graphic health warnings would remain on all packages.

"We know that most people start smoking before the age of 18" says Tomsett, "So this legislation and the regulations to support it will protect the next generation of youth from these misleading mini billboards."

Countries around the world, including Australia, United Kingdom and France are adapting plain and standardized packaging because research shows it helps:

• Discourage young people from starting to smoking.

• Decrease the amount of cigarettes a smoker smokes.

• Increase the recall of graphic health warning labels.

• Encourage quit attempts.

• Reduce a relapse in those who have quit.

Freeze the Industry is a coalition of youth, young adults, and adults dedicated to stopping the tobacco industry from developing and marketing products that are enticing to youth. The group is calling for plain and standardized packaging on all tobacco products in Canada. For more information visit - http://www.freezetheindustry.com/

source: media release, Grey Bruce Health Unit

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