Alberta announces new vaping legislation

Hamilton, June 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On June 2, Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced Bill 19, the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Amendment Act, following a review of the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act led by MLA Jeremy Nixon.Summary of Bill 19:Prohibits the sale, possession and use of vapour products by anyone under 18, which aligns with the province’s age of majority.Prohibits the use of vapour product in schools, hospitals, and other public spaces.Prohibits advertising in gas stations and convenience stores, to align with tobacco advertising regulations and federal vapour product regulations.Restricts where vapour products can be sold.Establishes the authority to consider flavour restrictions at a later date.The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) commends the actions taken by the Government of Alberta to protect youth. “Vapour products are harm reduction tools intended for adult smokers. We see this legislation as having great potential to address youth uptake while supporting adult smokers that have chosen vaping to reduce their harm” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA. “We commend the Government of Alberta for developing this balanced legislation. As a next step, to address the continuing concerns of stakeholders and parents, we call on this government to limit the sale of vapour products to age restricted specialty vape shops when developing the final regulations. Regulations in both Ontario and BC have limited the sale of most vapour products to adult-only access specialty shops, as it is understood that controlling access points is a crucial element in reducing youth uptake,” concluded Tempest.Health Minister Tyler Shandro has stated that flavour restrictions could be implemented, pending additional recommendations from public health. However, the data has repeatedly shown that banning flavours has no impact on youth vaping rates and instead reduces both the number of smokers’ who transition from combustible tobacco and the success rate amongst those who are working through their transition to this much less harmful alternative. The CVA recommends that the Government of Alberta look to recent legislation in Ontario for guidance on effective regulations surrounding flavours and nicotine strengths. Ontario has restricted the sale of flavoured vapour products and those with a nicotine strength higher than 20 mg/ml to age restricted specialty vape shops, allowing adult smokers access to the products they require while eliminating access points for youth. Alberta’s new vaping legislation shows that this government is committed to developing balanced regulation that will both protect youth while providing adults with access to the most successful harm reduction product globally. Alberta has the nation’s second highest smoking rates; we applaud the Health Minister and Premier Kenney for developing legislation that supports vaping as a tool to address the province’s leading cause of death, combustible tobacco.Darryl Tempest
The Canadian Vaping Association
[email protected]

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