Alberta releases new tobacco reduction strategy
The province plans to enact legislation to ban smoking in vehicles when children are present as part of its new three-year tobacco reduction strategy.
The plan, released Monday by Health Minister Fred Horne, also includes introducing provincial legislation to restrict the sale of flavoured tobacco and prohibit tobacco sales to minors; expanding programs to help people quit smoking: and offering more tobacco cessation training for health professionals.
The law prohibiting smoking in vehicles was sponsored by Liberal leader Raj Sherman and passed unanimously by the legislature in March.
Horne said some of the proposals will be controversial, including bans on flavoured tobacco and on the use of water pipes or hookahs in restaurants and bars.
"The plan is that we will put these together in one bill that we will put forward for the spring of next year," he said, adding that the bill will then be sent for review to an all-party committee of the legislature.
Federal legislation prohibits the sale of tobacco to minors, but Horne said Alberta wants its own legislation to provide "clarity."
The Alberta government isn't raising tobacco taxes right now. This is a measure that will be considered over the next decade, according to the province's news release.
Other items to be looked at in the future include adding health warning signs where people buy cigarettes and placing additional restrictions on smoking in public areas.