Pubdate: Tue, 27 Jun 2017
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Rob Csernyik
Page: 8


Health group feels tobacco is taking a back seat to cannabis

A health coalition that feels the Alberta government is prioritizing
marijuana legislation over tobacco wants to see action taken to
protect the province's youth.

Representatives from the Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta gathered
outside the Alberta legislature Monday to voice their concerns and
launch a new mobilization campaign, Protect Alberta Kids From Tobacco.

One concern is that implementation of the Tobacco and Smoking
Reduction Act is being delayed while cannabis legislation has been
accelerated, the representatives said.

"Tobacco regulations should not take a back seat, especially since
tobacco kills at least 37 times more Canadians than cannabis," the
campaign said in a release. The group wants the government to take
action in three priority areas: banning flavoured pipe and shisha
tobacco; banning all forms of smoking, including cannabis and
electronic cigarettes, in public establishments and workplaces; and
implementing and enforcing tobacco sales to minors

"Alberta is the only province without any active enforcement of
tobacco sales to minors restrictions," Lisa Campkin of the Heart and
Stroke Foundation said in a release.

"Evidence shows that strict enforcement ... can help to reduce tobacco
use among adolescents."

Along with the legislation, the campaign wants to see full
implementation of the Alberta Tobacco Reduction Strategy. Despite the
renewed strategy being launched in 2012, it remains largely
unimplemented, the campaign said.

It recommends a tobacco tax increase to counteract the affordability
of cigarettes for Alberta youth thanks to relatively low tobacco taxes
and high wages.

The tax, the group said, could be used to fully implement the
reduction strategy.
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MAP posted-by: Matt