Alberta convenience store owners leery about possibility of menthol tobacco ban

A group that represents Alberta convenience store owners is unhappy over indications the province will ban the sale of menthol-flavoured tobacco.

EDMONTON — A group that represents Alberta convenience store owners is unhappy over indications the province will ban the sale of menthol-flavoured tobacco.

The Western Convenience Stores Association said Thursday that lobbyists for health organizations are trying to shame the new NDP government into making it impossible for adults to buy menthol cigarettes.

Association president Andrew Klukas said a ban would hurt the bottom line of stores, cost the government tax revenue and drive the sale of menthol tobacco underground.

“Making the sale of all flavoured products like menthol cigarettes illegal will predominantly impact adults who will no longer be able to buy the products they have used responsibly and enjoyed for many years,” Klukas said.

“My fear is that a menthol cigarette ban will create an even larger demand for illegal tobacco products on the black market in Alberta.”

The association represents more than 2,000 convenience stores in the province.

The Alberta NDP has been in favour of a menthol ban and Premier Rachel Notley said Wednesday that she expects there will be an announcement in the coming days.

The provincial government passed legislation in 2013 to ban flavoured tobacco, but the previous Progressive Conservative government decided earlier this year to exclude menthol from the law.

The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that one in three Alberta youth smokers use menthol cigarettes, compared to one in 20 adult smokers.

Les Hagen of the group Action on Smoking and Health said the menthol tobacco market is aimed at young people and a ban on the flavour in Alberta is overdue.

He said the tobacco industry and some retail stores are more interested in money than in the health of young people and this latest plea not to ban menthol isn’t a surprise.

“It just demonstrates how important the youth market is to the industry and how desperately they want to hang on to it,” Hagen said.

“Over half of Canadian youth who use tobacco are using flavoured tobacco products, so the industry is going to lose up to half of its new customers and that is just fine by me.”

Hagen notes that Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec have either banned menthol-flavoured tobacco or have plans to do so.

Alberta’s new regulations that ban flavoured tobacco products other than menthol are to go into effect Monday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

A trial countdown sign marks the days at George Floyd Square, March 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. Ten months after police officers brushed off George Floyd's moans for help on the street outside a south Minneapolis grocery, the square remains a makeshift memorial for Floyd who died at the hand of police making an arrest. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will begin with jury selection on March 8. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Officer’s trial could reopen intersection where Floyd died

MINNEAPOLIS — During a group’s recent meeting at the now-vacant Speedway gas… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell calls for an end to violence in the city during a news conference a day after a demonstrator was shot and killed in downtown Portland. Amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd last year Portland dissolved a special police unit designed to focus on gun violence. Critics say the squad unfairly targeted Black people, but gun violence and homicides have since spiked in Oregon's largest city, and some say disbanding the 35-officer unit was a mistake. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP, File)
As violence surges, some question Portland axing police unit

PORTLAND, Ore. — Elmer Yarborough got a terrifying call from his sister:… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Just don’t call it cod liver oil

Many people swear that a daily dose of various vitamins is an… Continue reading

Email editor@auburn-reporter.com
Letter: Preserving green spaces in Red Deer

The Advocate published an article Feb. 11 about Sunnybrook residents concerned about… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Most Read