‘Packs are like mini walk­ing bill­boards’

Tillsonburg News - - LOCAL - Heather rivers HRivers@post­media.com

A group of Ox­ford County youth headed to the na­tion’s cap­i­tal Thurs­day to join youth from across the coun­try in sup­port­ing Bill S-5.

On Nov. 9, the grass­roots youth­based group called What the Health? ral­lied on Par­lia­ment Hill to sup­port a bill that in­cludes plain and stan­dard pack­ag­ing to re­duce smok­ing lev­els in youth.

“Cig­a­rette pack­ages are one of the last things the in­dus­try can legally mar­ket in Canada,” ex­plained Ox­ford County pub­lic health youth co-or­di­na­tor Michelle Alvey. “The cig­a­rette packs are like walk­ing mini-bill­boards. They are de­signed to ap­peal to gen­ders and down­play warn­ings, and make to­bacco more ap­peal­ing to youth.”

What the Health? mem­bers take on a va­ri­ety of causes, in­clud­ing to­bacco use, men­tal health, nu­tri­tion and dis­tracted driv­ing.

“Pub­lic health works with What the Health? To sup­port them in ad­vo­cat­ing for is­sues that are im­por­tant to them,” Alvey said. “We are a re­source tool to help bring their ideas to fruition and we can con­nect them to oth­ers who have the same pas­sion.”

Alvey said be­ing part of the or­ga­ni­za­tion al­lows youth to meet new peo­ple, gain valu­able job skills, build their re­sume, get vol­un­teer hours and earn re­wards.

To learn more visit whatthe­health.ca.

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