Student groups ask MPPs for ban against chewing tobacco

A smokeless-tobacco company executive was once quoted as saying, "Cher­ry Skoal is for somebody who likes the taste of candy – if you know what I’m saying …"
Skoal is a brand of smoke­less tobacco or chew – and the tobacco industry states it does not market to kids. Guelph’s SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) and Well­ington County’s Detox supported National Through With Chew Week (Feb. 18 to 22) with visits to MPPs Liz San­dals and Ted Arnott. They presented over 600 signed postcards advocating a ban on the sale of smokeless to­bacco. 
Another 400 signed post­cards were sent to MPP John Wilkinson from students at Wellington Heights Secondary School in Mount Forest, and Norwell District Secon­dary School in Palmerston.
"Tobacco companies use candy flavours such as cherry, peach, berry, and mint in their chew products which appeal to a youth market," said SWAT peer leader Alyssa Heathfield.  "We want to stop the sale of chew-and-spit tobacco industry products before more youth become addicted." 
Many think using smoke­less tobacco is safer than smok­­ing. The groups stated a lack of  smoke does not mean it is safe.  A person who uses 8 to 10 chews a day receives the same amount of nicotine as a heavy smoker who smokes 30 to 40 cigarettes a day. Smoke­less tobacco is made from a mixture of tobac­co, nicotine, sweeteners, abra­sives, salts, and chemicals. It contains over 3,000 chemicals in­cluding about 28 known can­cer causing substances.
Detox’s Amber Snowe added, "The long-term effects include can­cers of the mouth. You are also more likely to develop cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease."
Heathfield said, "Youth are the next generation of smokers … What better way to addict youth to nicotine than to intro­duce it in an appealing form."
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