Nova Scotia's flavoured tobacco online survey draws 1,000 responses

Plenty of Nova Scotians are giving the minister of health their views on flavoured tobacco.

Government wants feedback on proposed ban to certain flavours

Leo Glavine says the feedback will guide the government's decision. (CBC)

Plenty of Nova Scotians are giving the minister of health their views on flavoured tobacco.

More than 1,000 surveys were completed in the first 48 hours of the online poll.

There are two surveys: one specific to e-cigarettes and the flavoured e-juice used in the devices, and one to do with flavoured tobacco.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Department of Health and Wellness had received 625 completed e-cigarette surveys and 477 ones related to tobacco use. Both ask whether certain products should be banned by the province.

Those items include :

  • Menthol tobacco.
  • Flavoured cigarette paper.
  • Tobacco flavoured like port, whisky, wine or rum.  

When it comes to e-juices, the choice is between banning certain flavours and limiting their sale.

With every question there is an opportunity to say why someone feels the way they do. The poll is anonymous.

The only problem is the department hasn't restricted the survey to one response per computer, so anyone can complete as many surveys as they want.

New law expected by May 31

The coordinator of the consultation at the Health Department, Jennifer Heatley, says that was to ensure any Nova Scotians who wanted to take part could do so.

"If several people in your household, who all use the same internet connection, wanted to respond, they wouldn't be able to do that if we limited it to one response per computer," she said.

"Another example would be a public library, which is where many Nova Scotians would access the survey or the internet in general and so we really felt to increase access, we couldn't put that limitation on."

Health Minister Leo Glavine doesn’t see it as a problem either.

"We may have to do discernment around that," said Glavine. "And I know people who are very internet savvy and can pick up on where the emails are actually coming from."

Besides, Glavine claims the online survey is only one of the tools at his disposal to gauge public opinion on this issue.

The department is also paying for a telephone poll, a half dozen focus groups with Grade 9 and Grade 12 students, as well as meetings with health groups and merchants.

The plan is to bring in a new bill this coming spring and have the new restrictions in place by May 31.

About the Author

Jean Laroche


Jean Laroche has been a CBC reporter for 32 years. He's been covering Nova Scotia politics since 1995 and has been at Province House longer than any sitting member.


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