Alberta proposes law to fight second-hand smoke

Alberta took steps Thursday to keep kids away from cigarettes and cigarette smoke.

EDMONTON — Alberta took steps Thursday to keep kids away from cigarettes and cigarette smoke.

Health Minister Fred Horne introduced a bill to crack down on those who sell tobacco to minors and to levy fines on adults who smoke with kids in the vehicle.

Horne also said the government will back a private member’s bill from backbencher Christine Cusanelli that will stop the sale of flavoured tobacco products, which is considered a gateway product to entice kids into becoming lifelong smokers.

“We are here for the singular purpose of protecting the health of children and youth in our society for the long term,” Horne told a news conference at a southside high school.

Bill 33, the Tobacco Reduction Amendment Act, will give the province the same authority as the federal government has to fine those who sell tobacco to anyone under 18.

Anyone caught selling to minors will likely get a $500 ticket. But the province has the option of imposing fines up to $10,000 for a first offence, and up to $100,000 for subsequent offences if the circumstances warrant.

The bill will extend the ban on smoking in public places to tobacco-like products such as waterpipes.

Horne said if the bill passes, that element will be phased in over a year to allow public places to make the required changes.

Adults caught smoking in vehicles with children would get a $250 ticket, but the province can, if circumstances warrant, levy up to $1,000 on a first offence and up to $5,000 on subsequent offence.

Cusanelli’s bill, Bill 206, is aimed at stopping the sale of flavoured tobacco to everyone, not just youth.

Les Hagen of the advocacy group Action on Smoking and Health, says flavoured tobacco is the hook used to lure in children.

“The tobacco companies have flooded the market with flavoured products over the past 10 years,” said Hagen.

“We’re seeing high rates of flavoured tobacco use among young people here in Alberta and across Canada.”

Bill 206 has passed second reading in the legislature and is now being debated line by line in committee of the whole.

Horne said the bill takes aim at all flavoured tobacco, but wouldn’t say if the favourite flavour, menthol, will be part of the ban when the regulations are written.

“The approach is to allow for these decisions to be made on a product-by-product basis in regulation,” said Horne.

“I’m not going to try to prejudge the outcome of what will happen with the bill in the legislature.”

Hagen said menthol needs to be part of the ban.

“Half of the kids who are using flavoured tobacco are using menthol,” he said.

“It soothes the throat, it opens the airways, (and) it assists with nicotine absorption in the bloodstream.

“Because of its chemical properties it is the worst flavour.”

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

Just Posted

AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees selected the name St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School to be built in the north end of Red Deer. (Photo Courtesy of  Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raises about $8,720 for Terry Fox Foundation

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raised about $8,720 for the Terry Fox… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels allowed four straight goals from the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday night on the road. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers hand Red Deer Rebels 10th straight loss

Tigers 4 Rebels 2 Through 17 games in the shortened WHL season,… Continue reading

Meghan Huizing has been selected by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools as a finalist for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) 2021 Edwin Parr Award. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools)
Red Deer Catholic names finalist for Edwin Parr Award

Meghan Huizing from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds has… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Brad Dahr, 53, is facing numerous charges. (Photo contributed by Alberta RCMP)
Alberta man charged for alleged sexual offences against children

An Edmonton man has been charged for alleged sexual offences against children… Continue reading

A person walks past a COVID-19 mural designed by artist Emily May Rose on a rainy day during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off the job or coming into work while knowingly sick could warrant discipline in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Risky pandemic behaviour off the clock could mean workplace discipline: lawyers

CALGARY — Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off… Continue reading

Vials containing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 are seen at the San Marino State Hospital, in San Marino, Friday, April 9, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Antonio Calanni
China, Russia using their COVID-19 vaccines to gain political influence

OTTAWA — China and Russia have been using their locally produced COVID-19… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday, March 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau announces donation to Duke of Edinburgh’s award ahead of funeral

Canada will donate $200,000 to the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award as… Continue reading

Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science) Will Amos responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. The Liberal MP who inadvertently flashed his parliamentary colleagues says the fact that a screenshot of him in the nude was leaked to the media sends a troubling message about the corrosive state of politics in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
Canada’s naked MP speaks out: leaked photo sends message ‘anything goes’ in politics

OTTAWA — The Liberal MP who inadvertently flashed his parliamentary colleagues says… 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 $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $10 million jackpot… Continue reading

Opinion
Opinion: Canada’s self-esteem needs Trump

Well, it was fun while it lasted. For four years, with Donald… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Shenanigans on the links

It must be something about my Scottish heritage but I seem to… Continue reading

Most Read