Two out of three Alberta teen smokers use flavoured tobacco, according to newly-released statistics.
Health Canada data, recently shared with the province's anti-smoking groups, revealed that 64 per cent of Alberta teens that smoke used flavoured tobacco products at least once in the month before they were asked.
That information was gleaned from a youth smoking survey involving 4,500 students in grades 6 though 12 from 35 schools across the province.
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta spokeswoman Ev Glasser said the popularity of the products is proof of what she calls "predatory marketing" on the part of tobacco companies.
"It is unsettling and people with kids should be really upset about this," she said.
CBC News interviewed students outside a Calgary high school Tuesday who said they like the aftertaste of the flavoured cigars.
"After you smoke them, you lick your lips and you can taste the flavour," said one student, likening it to lip gloss. "That's pretty great."
The Alberta government plans to impose restrictions on flavoured tobacco products later this year.
But the province's Associate Minister of Wellness Dave Rodney won't say whether a ban, called for by anti-smoking groups, is in the works.
Two out of three teen smokers have used flavoured tobacco in the month before they were asked, not two out of three Albertan teens, as was originally reported.Feb 27, 2013 9:00 AM MT