A study butts advance that contraband cigarettes are more and more present in Quebec schools, while menthol cigarettes are hardly consumed by young people. As soon published research has drawn criticism from the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control, which denounces research methods “questionable”.
It is the Quebec Association of Convenience Stores (AQDA) which is at the origin of this study. It mandated the Montreal firm NIRIC specializing in butts studies to analyze 65 sites across the province, including 43 secondary schools.
According to AQDA, the proportion of smuggled cigarettes butts collected across Quebec is 15.9% on average and 16.8% in secondary schools. The association, however, did not provide data to support the hypothesis of an increase, content to publish the results in the Montreal region. The association reveal all the data throughout the week, said Guy Leroux, the AQDA.
In the 15 selected schools in the metropolitan area, the rate of smuggling is 19.1%. However, it notes that several places are located near Aboriginal reserves.
“We chose schools where they thought there was a lot of smuggling and we do it right, says Guy Leroux. The results are even higher than previously thought. ”
For example, the rate of smuggling at the Louis-Philippe-Paré school in Châteauguay, would be 44.7%.
The Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control (CQCT) but denounces the lack of rigor of the analysis. “The sites were not randomly selected samples are therefore not representative of the population,” protested the spokesperson, Dr. Genevieve Wood, who stressed that the rate of smuggling is down.
The spokesman also stressed that there is not that young people who smoke close schools. “There may also be employed, for example.”
For the first time, the NIRIC firm was interested in menthol cigarette butts. For all the analyzed schools in the province, the rate of these cigarettes would represent 0.8% of the collected butts. “This is proof that young people do not smoke menthol,” says Leroux.
Again, Dr. Wood rejects these results. “Investigations conducted by independent researchers rather show that a third of young smokers consume menthol cigarettes,” insists Dr. Wood.
The AQAP publishes these results a few weeks of starting public consultations on Bill 44, which provides in particular prohibit all tobacco flavors including menthol.
The association has also set up a “save menthol” campaign, Mr. Leroux confirmed that the tobacco industry has been approached for funding.
“You have to AQAP’s data with a grain of salt, warns Dr. Wood. This is not a disinterested party, its members are making profits on the backs of smoking. ”