Government Acts to Protect Youth from the Dangers of Menthol Tobacco and Prevent Cancer

The province is banning the sale of menthol flavoured tobacco in Alberta after September 30, 2015.

“More than half of young tobacco users are using flavoured tobacco, whether it’s menthol or a fruit or candy flavour. By banning the sale of these products, we can reduce tobacco use among youth and help our children stay healthy. Removing the exemption of menthol also ensures a fair, consistent approach to flavoured tobacco.”

~ Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health

Menthol flavoured tobacco products will continue to be available for sale until September 30, 2015. The four month grace period is in place to allow retailers to deplete their existing stock of menthol products.

On June 1, the sale of other kinds of flavoured tobacco will be banned in Alberta under the Tobacco Reduction Amendment Regulation. Exceptions to the ban are cigars that cost more than $4 each and weigh five grams or more; and pipe tobacco.

Also as of June 1, cigarettes, bidis (thin, hand-rolled cigarettes, e.g., from India), blunt wraps and certain cigars will be required to be sold in minimum package sizes. This will eliminate smaller, cheaper options that are often used by youth and young adults.

“Menthol cigarettes are starter products that make it easier for youth to get hooked on tobacco. The Canadian Cancer Society applauds the Government of Alberta for being a leader on this issue and taking this bold step that will help better protect our youth from the harmful health consequences of tobacco use.”

~ Angeline Webb, Canadian Cancer Society, Alberta/NWT Division

Each year, tobacco use is linked to about 3,000 deaths in Alberta.