Please take one minute to protect Alberta kids from smoking and vaping

The Alberta government has introduced new legislation to curtail youth vaping. Bill 19—the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Amendment Act—includes the following:

  • A ban on the retail display and promotion of vaping products
  • A ban on vaping everywhere smoking is banned and alignment with restrictions on cannabis consumption including school, child care and hospital properties, playgrounds, sports fields, skateboard and bicycle parks, outdoor pools and splash pads, zoos, and outdoor theatres.
  • A ban on vaping product sales where tobacco sales are banned including pharmacies, hospitals, post-secondary institutions, vending machines and any mobile or temporary retail locations
  • Regulatory authority to ban flavours in vaping products

These measures will help to curb youth vaping in Alberta, however the Alberta government is not restricting flavoured vaping products at this time.  A delayed flavour ban will allow tobacco and vaping companies to continue to target children and youth.  A ban on flavoured vaping products is key to reducing youth vaping.

Numerous health organizations and Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health have called for a comprehensive ban on flavoured vaping devices.

We need your help to protect Alberta kids from flavoured vaping products and the companies that are selling and promoting them.

Together, our voice can make a difference and will help overcome industry lobbying.

Please take one minute to tell your MLA to protect Alberta kids from tobacco and vaping companies and their flavoured vaping products. You are free to add a few sentences or words to our message content or to re-write the message in your own words. Here are some great ways to personalize your message. You can also review and pull from the background information below.

  • Provide a bit of information about yourself. Are you a parent? A nurse? Are you a current or ex-smoker? A current vaper?
  • Share why this issue matters to you personally. Have you lost a loved one to tobacco related illness? Do you know a youth who is addicted to vaping or tobacco? Do you believe the government should better protect kids from vaping and tobacco company products?

Background on tobacco use and vaping in Alberta

Tobacco use results in the premature death of 4,100 Albertans which is more than all other substances combined.1 Tobacco is the most widespread and harmful form of substance use. Nicotine is one of the most addictive legal substances available and it causes tobacco dependency. Smoking and vaping share the same fundamental health hazard—nicotine addiction. Youth vaping in Alberta almost tripled between 2015 and 2017.2 Alberta’s youth vaping rate has exploded over the last few years with 50,000 Alberta kids reporting the use of vaping products in the past 30 days in 2019.3 In fact, the rates of vaping among youth have now surpassed the rate of smoking among youth.4

Alberta is the only provinces in Canada without provincial regulations to protect children and youth from vaping products.

Despite claims that vaping is a safer alternative and potential aid to quit smoking, there is evidence showing that the risk of smoking initiation resulting from vaping outweighs the benefits of using vaping devices to quit smoking. According to a recent study,6 for every person that quits smoking using a vaping product there are 80 youth who will begin smoking as a result of vaping. Given the strong association between vaping, nicotine and tobacco use, vaping products should be regulated like tobacco in order to protect youth and nonsmokers from nicotine addiction and potential tobacco use.

Creating parallel restrictions on the sale of flavoured tobacco products and flavoured vaping products

There is an astounding number of vaping product flavours available on the market.7,8 The vast majority of vaping products used by youth are flavoured9 and almost all youth who experiment with vaping products use flavoured vaping products.10 Similar to conventional cigarettes, flavours are especially enticing to youth, increasing susceptibility and intention to experiment and initiate use.11,12 Among adults who use vaping products to stop smoking tobacco, tobacco-flavoured vaping products are preferred.13 Given the strong association between youth use of flavoured vaping products and youth motivation towards vaping and potential evolution to tobacco use, restrictions on flavoured vaping products are key to reducing youth vaping and the likelihood of tobacco use initiation.14 Youth who use vaping products are more susceptible to future tobacco use and are more likely to evolve to using tobacco products.15 Youth who use vaping products are four times more likely to start smoking cigarettes.16 The Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta recommends that the Alberta government prohibit all flavours in vaping products unless specifically allowed by regulation. The provinces of Nova Scotia and PEI as well as several U.S. states, including Montana and Washington, have implemented a comprehensive ban on flavoured vaping products with the sole exception of tobacco-flavoured products.

Thank you for taking action to protect Alberta kids!

Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta (CSFA) is a coalition of prominent health organizations working to reduce tobacco use in Alberta. Information on this webpage reflects the position of the coalition and represents evidence-based approaches to reducing and preventing the use of tobacco and vaping products. If you need more information, please contact us.
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[1] Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms Scientific Working Group. (2018). Canadian substance use costs and harms (2007-2014). Ottawa, ON: Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.

[2] Health Canada. Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 2016-2017. June 2018. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canadian-student-tobacco-alcohol-drugs-survey.html

[3]. Health Canada. Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 2018-2019. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canadian-student-tobacco-alcohol-drugs-survey/2018-2019-detailed-tables.html#t11

[4]Barrington-Trimis JL, Kong G, Leventhal AM, et al. E-cigarette Use and Subsequent Smoking Frequency Among Adolescents. Pediatrics. 2018;142(6):e20180486

[5]. Health Canada. Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 2016-2017. June 2018. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canadian-student-tobacco-alcohol-drugs-survey.html

[6] Soneji, Samir S., et al. "Quantifying Population-Level Health Benefits and Harms of e-Cigarette use in the United States." PloS One, vol. 13, no. 3, 2018, pp. e0193328.

[7] Harrell, M.B. et al. Flavored e-cigarette use: Characterizing youth, young adult, and adult users. Preventive Medicine Reports 5 (2017) 33–40

[8] Euromonitor International. Vapour Devices and E-cigarettes in the Global Tobacco Market. 2015. Available from: http://blog. euromonitor.com/2015/06/ vapor-devices-and-e-cigarettes-in-the-globaltobacco-market.html

[9] Mehra, V. et al. The association between alcohol, marijuana, illegal drug use and current use of e-cigarette among youth and y9outh adults in Canada: results from Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey 2017. BMC Public Health. 2019. 19:1208.

[10] Harrell, M.B. et al. Flavored e-cigarette use: Characterizing youth, young adult, and adult users. Preventive Medicine Reports 5 (2017) 33–40

[11] Harrell, M.B. et al. Flavored e-cigarette use: Characterizing youth, young adult, and adult users. Preventive Medicine Reports 5 (2017) 33–40

[12] Meernik C, Baker HM, Kowitt SD, et al. Impact of non-menthol flavours in e-cigarettes on perceptions and use: an updated systematic review. BMJ Open 2019;9:e031598.

[13] Harrell, M.B. et al. Flavored e-cigarette use: Characterizing youth, young adult, and adult users. Preventive Medicine Reports 5 (2017) 33–40

[14] Mehra, V. et al. The association between alcohol, marijuana, illegal drug use and current use of e-cigarette among youth and y9outh adults in Canada: results from Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey 2017. BMC Public Health. 2019. 19:1208.

[15] Azagba, S. Baskerville. N.B., Foley, K. Susceptibility to cigarette smoking among middle and high school e-cigarette users in Canada. Preventative Medicine 103. 2017. 14-19.

[16] Barrington-Trimis JL, Kong G, Leventhal AM, et al. E-cigarette Use and Subsequent Smoking Frequency Among Adolescents. Pediatrics. 2018;142(6):e20180486