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Youth Leader Receives Medal From Lieutenant Governor for Helping to Secure Flavoured Tobacco Ban
Friday, 31 July 2015 12:08

The Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta is celebrating today’s presentation of a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal to Jianna Marin—a 19-year-old youth leader and health advocate who played a pivotal role in securing a comprehensive ban on flavoured tobacco in Alberta.

Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell presented the medal to Jianna today at a ceremony at Government House in Edmonton.  The award includes a $5,000 scholarship that will support Jianna’s pursuit of a political science degree at Grant MacEwan University.

“Jianna played a huge role in the development of Alberta’s flavoured tobacco ban and we are delighted that she has been chosen to receive this prestigious award” said Angeline Webb of the Canadian Cancer Society, Alberta/NWT Division.  “Jianna and the youth advocacy group Lloyd Flavour Gone inspired Lloydminster MLA Richard Starke to introduce a bill to ban flavoured tobacco in 2012.  She continued to campaign for the bill until it was passed in 2013 and implemented in 2014.  Jianna is a remarkable young woman and youth leader whose work will help to keep thousands of Alberta youth tobacco-free for life”.

Jianna and the Lloydminster youth group collected thousands of postcards in support of a provincial ban on flavoured tobacco.  Jianna also led a provincial campaign last year called “Join Jianna to fight the tobacco giants” and she made presentations at high schools across Alberta to rally students in support of a comprehensive ban on flavoured tobacco.  Jianna met with numerous MLAs to encourage them to fully implement the flavoured tobacco ban.  The campaign received tremendous media coverage and it helped to tip the scales in favour of a menthol tobacco ban.

“Jianna is an inspiration to all of us and she is a tremendous role model for young people in Alberta and beyond” said Les Hagen of Action on Smoking & Health.  “Jianna’s work emphasizes the power of the individual and the importance of youth engagement on major health and social issues like tobacco use.  We are profoundly grateful for Jianna’s tremendous contribution to public health in Alberta.”

Lacombe high school student Brooklyn Trimble was one of many students who were inspired by Jianna’s campaign.  Brooklyn decided to join the fight to ban flavoured tobacco after Jianna made a presentation at a youth leadership conference in Drumheller last year. 

“I was inspired to join Jianna’s campaign after watching her make a captivating presentation to high school leaders last year” said Brooklyn.  “After returning from the conference, I enlisted my fellow students at Lacombe Composite High School to join Jianna in banning flavoured tobacco by participating in the provincial ‘Flavour Fraud’ youth campaign.  The campaign was very successful and we were rewarded with a ban on menthol tobacco that was announced by health minister Sarah Hoffman on May 30”.

In 2013, Jianna and the Lloyd Flavour Gone youth group also received the Barb Tarbox Award for their contribution to tobacco reduction in Alberta.

 

Contact:

Les Hagen @ 780-919-5546

Angeline Webb a@ 780-239-5295

Jianna Marin is available for telephone interviews by request.

 
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