Health Minister Tyler Shandro has asked MLA Jeremy Nixon to lead a review of the province’s tobacco and smoking legislation, with a focus on regulating vaping.
“Like most Albertans, I’m concerned about the rising use of vaping products, especially among young people, and recent reports of severe lung disease associated with these products. We don’t know yet what the links are, but we know vaping has risks. We need evidence-based regulation of tobacco and related products, including vaping products.”Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
Alberta’s current smoking and tobacco legislation doesn’t specifically address vaping or the use of tobacco-like products such as hookah and water pipe in public and work places.
The Alberta Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act requires a review to begin by Nov. 1, 2019.
“I share the minister’s concerns, and I’m looking forward to helping address an issue that’s important to Albertans and to our government. We all want to protect citizens from harm – especially young people – and we want to see smoking rates come down. I’m looking forward to reviewing the evidence carefully, with help from experts. And I’m looking forward to hearing from Albertans, because good policy needs to reflect the public’s views as well as the evidence.”Jeremy Nixon, MLA for Calgary-Klein
In the coming weeks, Albertans will be informed as to how they can submit their input. The review will begin by Nov. 1, as required, and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Amendments to the act will be introduced in the spring 2020 session of the legislature.
Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health added vaping-related acute severe lung illness to the official list of “notifiable conditions” under the Public Health Act on Sept. 5. To date, no Alberta cases have been reported.