These are the core issues concerning youth and tobacco in Alberta today

Affordability

Cigarettes are more affordable for young people in Alberta than in any other Canadian province. Tobacco tax increases are the most effective means of reducing and preventing tobacco use – especially among youth.
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Alberta Tobacco Reduction Strategy

The Alberta Tobacco Reduction Strategy has been widely applauded as an ambitious, comprehensive, evidence-based plan to reduce tobacco use in Alberta. However its funding has been substantially eroded and there is a lack of reporting, monitoring and evaluation. Unless it is fully funded and implemented, it is unlikely to reach its targets leaving many Alberta youth to pay the price.
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Waterpipe

In Alberta, for every five youths who report using cigarettes within the past 30 days, there are four youths who report smoking a waterpipe. The negative health effects of waterpipe use are comparable to cigarette smoking, yet its use remains unregulated in Alberta.
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Electronic Cigarettes

E-cigarettes are growing in use and popularity particularly among young people. While they may prove to help individuals quit smoking, their use among youth poses risk associated with nicotine addiction. How e-cigarettes are regulated will largely dictate whether they are a net benefit or a net harm to public health.
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Tobacco Sales to Minors

Legislation restricting tobacco product sales to minors in Alberta has not been fully implemented and no enforcement body has been assigned to actively enforce the law. Alberta currently has the highest rate of illegal tobacco sales to minors of any province.
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Cannabis

The Alberta government is considering how to regulate cannabis in response to federal cannabis legalization. This process must take into consideration the strong association between cannabis and tobacco use and the potential for cannabis legalization to impact tobacco initiation and consumption.
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Health Equity

Tobacco use is a significant contributor to the health equity gap in Alberta. In order to reduce health inequities in Alberta, tobacco reduction must be a public policy priority with a focus on policies that are proven to decrease tobacco use among disadvantaged populations.
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