Alberta Premier Alison Redford plans to introduce a wide-ranging strategy to crack down on youth smoking, fulfilling promises she made earlier this year in a survey from an anti-smoking group.
"We're very committed to following through on what was in that questionaire in a number of areas but we're going to do it in a way that's integrated into the rest of our policy-planning, so work is being done," Redford said in Calgary.
In the survey from Campaign for a Smoke Free Alberta, Redford committed to raising cigarette taxes, making it harder for children to buy cigarettes and banning the sale of flavoured tobacco. She also promised during her recent leadership campaign to ban smoking in cars and trucks with children.
Redford said the province is working on a new strategy, but she couldn't say when it will be released.
Anti-smoking activist Les Hagen is thrilled to hear a strategy may be coming soon.
"We have a huge problem with youth smoking," he said. "We're not meeting our targets and we really have to redouble our efforts if we're going to tackle this problem appropriately."
It's not clear whether Redford will increase taxes on cigarettes in next year's provincial budget.