ALBERTA BECOMES THE ONLY REMAINING PROVINCE WITHOUT VAPING LEGISLATION
Edmonton – With today’s introduction of new vaping legislation in Saskatchewan, Alberta becomes the only remaining province without any provincial legislation to control the consumption, sale and marketing of vaping products.
“Alberta youth deserve first-class protection from tobacco and vaping products” says Angeline Webb of the Canadian Cancer Society. “We urge the Alberta government to move swiftly on new legislation to give Alberta kids every chance to grow-up tobacco and nicotine-free. The rates of youth vaping have skyrocketed in the past few years and we are still waiting for effective legislation that will prevent tobacco and vaping companies from targeting youth. Protection delayed is protection denied”.
Last month, Alberta health minister Tyler Shandro launched a mandatory five-year review of the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act with the potential to include new restrictions on vaping products and further measures to regulate tobacco products. The review includes stakeholder meetings which are being held across the province and an online public input survey.
The Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta is urging the Alberta government to align restrictions on vaping products with those on tobacco products including:
- Banning all flavourings in vaping products except tobacco and nicotine flavours
- Prohibiting the retail display and promotion of vaping products
- Prohibiting the sale of vaping products from all locations from which tobacco sales are
prohibited with the exception of pharmacies that provide stop-smoking counselling
- Taking further steps to prevent sales to minors including regular store inspections
- Allowing adult-only vape shops where vaping products can be promoted
- Aligning restrictions on smoking in workplaces and public places with those on vaping
“Alberta has fallen way behind other provinces in protecting kids from vaping products and this is completely unacceptable” said Les Hagen of Action on Smoking & Health (ASH). “We hope that the provincial government will act swiftly and approve the strongest legislation in the country to counteract the health impact of this delay. The measures we are proposing will put Alberta at the forefront of
efforts to reduce youth vaping in North America”.
According to the Canadian Student Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, 35,500 Alberta youth in grades 6 to 12 used vaping products within the past 30 days in 2017. This figure represents a three-fold increase from 2015 and it exceeds the number of youth that smoked cigarettes within the past 30 days (n=25,000).
“Youth vaping has reached epidemic proportions and it now threatens to undermine the tremendous progress that has been made in reducing youth smoking over the past few decades” said Kristyn Berry of
the Heart & Stroke Foundation. “Tobacco use and vaping share the same fundamental health risk which is nicotine addiction. Youth who vape are four times as likely to become smokers.”
The Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta is a coalition of prominent health organizations that are working to reduce tobacco use in Alberta. The coalition is urging all Albertans to visit ProtectAlbertaKids.ca to let the government know that Alberta youth deserve strong protection from tobacco and vaping products.
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Les Hagen @ 780-919-5546
Angeline Webb @ 780- 239-5295