News

Local youth to rally on Parliament for changes to cigarette packaging

By Heather Rivers, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

Oxford County youth will be rallying on Parliament Hill on Thursday. From left to right: Shelby Hehn, Julia Cybulski, Olivia Gudziewski. (Submitted photo)

Oxford County youth will be rallying on Parliament Hill on Thursday. From left to right: Shelby Hehn, Julia Cybulski, Olivia Gudziewski. (Submitted photo)

A group of Oxford County youth is headed to the nation’s capital Thursday to join youth from across the country in supporting Bill-S5.

On November 9 the grass roots, youth-based group called What the Health? will rally on Parliament Hill to support a bill that includes plain and standard packaging to reduce smoking levels in youth.

“Cigarette package 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.

HRivers@postmedia.com