Leo Glavine refutes buckling to 'big tobacco'

Nova Scotia’s health minister is denying he or anyone in government caved to demands from tobacco lobbyists.

Nova Scotia government drops parts of e-cigarette legislation

Former smokers say Bill 60 is a bad idea. Many who spoke before the Law Amendments Committee who used to smoke regular tobacco and have switched to what's called "vaping” say it has helped them. (AFP/Getty Images)

Nova Scotia’s health minister is denying he or anyone in government caved to demands from tobacco lobbyists.

Opposition members and anti-tobacco groups levelled the accusations after the governing Liberals suddenly abandoned plans to ban the sale of flavoured tobacco and the flavoured juice used in vaporizers.

Leo Glavine says Bill 60 is still one of the toughest in the country.

"Big tobacco had no conversations with the premier, myself, the health department all the way down. Nor will I consult with big tobacco,” he said.

“I can assure you we will close some of the current loopholes that big tobacco has to get their product in the province through the consultation and the fine tuning of this bill.”

The changes come after some people spoke out at a legislature committee meeting earlier this week saying the legislation as it was proposed had unintended consequences. Some of those who appeared before the committee said e-cigarettes helped them quit smoking.

The Canadian Cancer Society says it is disheartened by the province's decision to drop the proposal prohibiting flavoured juice and tobacco. 

The government still plans to push through legislation to outlaw the use of water pipes such as hookahs and e-cigarettes in indoor public places, as well as the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 19.

Glavine says he wants his now amended bill to pass this fall. He's promising to bring in a tougher new bill later aimed at ensuring young people don’t have access to flavoured tobacco products.

With files from the Canadian Press

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