Bill banning flavoured tobacco still not law in Alberta

Bill 206 was passed in November but cabinet still hasn't proclaimed it.
A drawer full of flavoured cigars sold at a Calgary gas station. (Mary-Catherine McIntosh/CBC)

Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta is calling on the provincial government to proclaim a law banning the sale of flavoured tobacco.

Bill 206 was passed in November but since it hasn't been proclaimed by cabinet, the sale of flavoured tobacco products is still legal.

“This is the promise that they made to Alberta’s youth,” said Jianna Marin with Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta.

“And it’s only fair that they should act on it and proclaim it immediately.”

Bill 33 is also awaiting final proclamation. The law would prohibit smoking in vehicles with anyone under 16 inside and ban the use of water pipes in public areas.

Angeline Webb from the Canadian Cancer Society said that flavoured tobacco is lucrative for the tobacco industry. She believes there may be a reason why the laws haven’t come into force.

"There's 20 tobacco industry lobbyists that are working very hard to stall and delay, any tobacco control measure,” she said.

“The vast majority of tobacco users start before age of 18 so flavoured tobacco is very important to them, so they would not want to see this move forward.”

Marin, 18, believes the products encourage young people to smoke.

"Especially with flavoured tobacco, they kind of get the perception that it’s less harmful and won't actually hurt them in the end. But in reality, it does. "

If Bill 206 does become law, Alberta would be the only province in Canada to ban the sale of flavoured tobacco products.