Manitoba eyes ban on sale of flavoured tobacco

Manitoba is set to join the list of provinces that restrict the sale of flavoured tobacco products.

Manitoba set to prohibit flavoured tobacco in effort to stop youth smoking

Manitoba may see a ban on flavoured tobacco products in the future. (Mary-Catherine McIntosh/CBC)

Manitoba is set to join the list of provinces that restrict the sale of flavoured tobacco products.

Healthy Living Minister Sharon Blady says the aim is to stop tobacco companies from luring young people into smoking through cigarillos and other flavoured products.

Blady says details will be revealed in a proposed law she is expected to bring forward Wednesday.

Ontario and Alberta have already announced similar measures but have run into opposition from some quarters.

A company called Casa Cubana has said it's not fair to ban flavoured tobacco sales to adults in an attempt to prevent youth smoking.

Blady says Manitoba has worked hard to reduce smoking rates, especially among young people, and considers flavoured tobacco as a product aimed at attracting youths.

"Every time we make progress, tobacco marketers — they don't want to lose their market share — they will come up with new and creative ways and we have to ... make sure we're doing everything we can to protect our kids," Blady said Tuesday.

The idea of banning flavoured tobacco products has been pushed by anti-smoking groups such as the Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance.

The group also wants the government to strengthen its ban on smoking in public places to include bar and restaurant patios, and to encourage more smoke-free apartment buildings.

"I think government can provide incentives for that kind of thing as well, for those who are either building or currently renting out facilities," said Murray Gibson, the alliance's executive director.

But Blady said her legislation will focus only on flavoured tobacco.

The proposed law in Alberta would restrict all tobacco flavours including menthol. Menthol is exempt under the Ontario bill.