Too soon to say whether Alberta will join N.S. in banning flavoured e-cigarettes and juices

It will be some time next year before it becomes clear whether Alberta will join Nova Scotia in banning flavoured e-cigarettes and juices.

On Thursday, Nova Scotia’s health minister announced the province would become the first in the country to ban those sales starting April 1, 2020.

Health Minister Randy Delorey said the move is aimed at promoting a smoke-free culture in a province where vaping rates have been growing, especially among young people.

Les Hagen, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health, applauds the move.

“We have a province that is actually taking the step of eliminating flavours from vaping products because it’s going to have a profound impact on teen vaping,” he said.

“If kids can get these products in bubble gum, cherry and cotton candy, of course they’re gong to be attractive and appealing and we have to take that appeal away from children and youth.”

Hagen is hopeful Alberta will follow suit with a similar ban.

“Alberta and Nova Scotia were the very first two jurisdictions in the world to ban flavoured tobacco products. They should be the very first jurisdictions to deal with vaping flavours as well,” he said.

“Alberta youth deserve every bit as much protection as kids in Nova Scotia and from our perspective, protection delayed is protection denied.”

Alberta is currently the only province in the country without vaping legislation.

Steve Buick, press secretary to Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro, said the province is doing a review of its tobacco legislation, which includes regulations on vaping. Any changes would come forward in the spring.

“The minister is very much aware of the recent increase in smoking rates and recent cases of serious illness that may be linked to vaping,” Buick said in a statement when asked whether a similar ban is being considered.

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Hagen is hopeful the provincial government will take appropriate action as a result of its review.

“Alberta is the last province to move but we hope it brings forward strong legislation to make up for lost time and to get ahead of this issue,” he said.

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