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Alberta health groups applaud Nova Scotia for banning menthol flavoured tobacco
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 12:55

News Release – Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Today the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly approved a ban on menthol cigarettes and other flavoured tobacco products—effective May 31, 2015.  With the passage of Bill 90, Nova Scotia will become the first North American jurisdiction to ban menthol flavoured tobacco products.

The Ontario Legislature is also expected to pass new legislation to ban menthol cigarettes and other flavoured tobacco products within the next week or two.

“We applaud the Nova Scotia Legislature for approving a ban on menthol cigarettes and other flavoured tobacco products” said Leigh Allard of The Lung Association of Alberta & NWT.  “Menthol is the most popular flavoured tobacco product among Canadian youth.  Nova Scotia is providing its youth with first-class protection from flavoured tobacco products and we encourage other provinces to do the same—including Alberta”.

Last fall, the Alberta Government announced new flavoured tobacco regulations that exempt all menthol flavoured tobacco products and flavoured pipe tobacco.  The exemptions will leave thousands of Alberta youth completely unprotected from the most popular and harmful flavoured tobacco product.  One third of youth smokers are using menthol cigarettes compared with only 1 in 20 adult smokers.

“We urge the Alberta government to follow Nova Scotia’s lead and ban menthol tobacco” said Angeline Webb of the Canadian Cancer Society, Alberta/NWT Division.  “Alberta youth deserve first class protection from all flavoured tobacco products.  We cannot allow tobacco companies to target youth with this deplorable marketing scheme.  Protection delayed is protection denied”.

The tobacco industry hired over 20 lobbyists to fight the proposed menthol ban in Alberta.  Unfortunately it appears that the industry continues to hold reign over the Alberta government.

“The tobacco lobby mounted a full-court press to fight the proposed menthol ban in Alberta” said Les Hagen of Action on Smoking & Health (ASH).  “Fortunately the industry did not prevail in Nova Scotia.  However it appears that the tobacco industry still has the upper hand in Alberta.  We urge the provincial government to make the health of Alberta youth a top priority and to protect kids instead of tobacco companies”.

Health Minister Stephen Mandel has pledged to review the menthol exemption following the provincial election.  However no further details have been announced.

The Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta is a coalition of prominent health organizations who are working to reduce tobacco use in Alberta.

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Les Hagen @ 780-919-5546 (Edmonton)

Angeline Webb @ 780-239-5295 (Edmonton)

Jeff Cummings @ 780-616-1746 (Edmonton)

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