Edmonton

NDP urged to include menthol in flavoured tobacco ban

Anti-smoking groups called on the new NDP government to include menthol in a ban on the sale of some flavoured tobacco.

Premier Rachel Notley has said her government will review menthol exemption

Les Hagen with the group Action on Smoking and Health, agrees with a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and says the product should be regulated federally and provincially. (CBC)

Anti-smoking groups called on the new NDP government to include menthol in a ban on the sale of some flavoured tobacco.

On Monday a new law banning flavoured tobacco comes into effect in Alberta, but the rules do not include menthol flavoured cigarettes.

"Menthol is the worst flavouring of all because it soothes the throat, it opens the airways," said Les Hagen, with Action on Smoking and Health. "It helps to set the hook and get young people addicted to nicotine."

Former health minister Stephen Mandel exempted menthol in November when he announced a ban on flavoured tobacco products.

He defended it saying Albertans must "deal with the realities of the world."

"It is a legal product," he said. "People who smoke menthol who are older people need to be consulted and we'll make sure we do that in the next little while and then we'll bring it back to see how we can deal with these issues."

Premier Rachel Notley has said her government will review that exemption.

Ontario began the move to ban menthol Wednesday.

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