EDMONTON (CityNews) – As Saskatchewan introduces new vaping laws this week, Alberta becomes the only province without vaping legislation.
Anti-smoking advocates say Alberta needs to update its laws and implement changes immediately to stop youth vaping.
The Alberta government said a review is underway to look at the current tobacco and smoking laws to include vaping.
“We’re looking forward to the review being concluded in an expedited manner,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro. “Looking forward for us to be able to move forward into the spring with those changes to that legislation.”
Les Hagen with Action on Smoking and Health says the changes can’t come soon enough.
“Until that happens, we will be concerned that Alberta kids are not being adequately protected now, yesterday and perhaps tomorrow.”
Saskatchewan passes new vaping legislation—in just one day!!! Where there’s a will there’s protection for kids. Hoping @shandro and @JeremyPNixon and @YourAlberta will move quickly to protect Alberta kids from nicotine addiction. Protection delayed is protection denied. https://t.co/IjBsY7qM7e
— Les Hagen (@actiononsmoking) November 7, 2019
A study by the University of Waterloo showed teen vaping increased by 74 per cent in 2018.
Rob Cunningham with the Canadian Cancer Society says Alberta should adopt the harshest penalties when it comes to vaping.
“The fact that Alberta has delayed so long, means that the measures in Alberta should be much stronger than other provinces in order to catch up.”
Hagen is also worried about the delays in these changes, as the Tobacco Reduction Amendment Act will soon expire.
“There’s several sections of the existing act that are going to die by the end of this year unless they’re proclaimed. They’re on the chopping block.”
The UCP government said it will not allow the act to expire and plans to extend it.