Reconsider flavoured tobacco: firm

EDMONTON — A Quebec-based cigar distributor is lobbying the Alberta government not to proclaim new legislation that would ban flavoured tobacco products.

EDMONTON — A Quebec-based cigar distributor is lobbying the Alberta government not to proclaim new legislation that would ban flavoured tobacco products.

Alberta’s Tobacco Reduction (Flavoured Tobacco Products) Amendment Act received royal assent last month, but the Progressive Conservative government has not set a date for when it will go into effect.

A company called Casa Cubana has written to Premier Alison Redford and some cabinet ministers this month asking for the law to be reconsidered.

“We have contacted key cabinet ministers and Premier Redford, effectively asking them to stop and actually think about this one before it is too late,” Luc Martial, a company spokesman, said Monday.

Martial said “legitimate industry stakeholders” across the province are now actively reaching out to the government demanding a stay of proclamation and any subsequent eventual regulations.

The legislation gives the government full regulatory authority over all flavoured tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes.

Health Minister Fred Horne said the province is still writing the regulations designed to protect children from tobacco use and will proclaim the legislation later this year.

“It gives Alberta amongst the toughest tobacco legislation in the country,” he said. “We did this to protect children and youth and we are committed to following through.”

Casa Cubana contends that flavoured tobacco is not a “gateway” product that leads young people to use other tobacco products and warns that Alberta stands to lose $11 million per year in tax revenue from the sale of its cigars.

The company said the vast majority of the people who buy the small cigars it distributes are adults.

Martial said the Alberta government has been misled by reports that link flavoured tobacco products to children.

“It is our contention that the government was unfortunately duped into thinking that flavoured tobacco products was a relevant youth health priority — and is now on the verge of unjustifiably and without warrant undermining the rights of hundreds of thousands of voters in the province and throwing (away) millions of dollars in annual tax revenues,” says the letter sent to Redford dated Jan. 27.

Les Hagen, a spokesman for the group Campaign for a Smoke Free Alberta, said Casa Cubana’s letter is just the latest effort by tobacco industry lobbyists to snuff out the legislation.

He said the lobbyists failed to secure exemptions in the bill last year despite numerous attempts.

“This doesn’t surprise me, it is just par for the course,” Hagen said.

“We are just going to encourage the Alberta government to do the right thing and make sure the ban extends to all flavoured tobacco products including menthol cigarettes.”

Just Posted

Unemployment rate and EI beneficiaries down in Central Alberta

The unemployment rate for Red Deer region and the number of people… Continue reading

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month