June 26, 2017 1:12 pm
Updated: June 27, 2017 12:05 am

Health coalition pushing Alberta government to do more to stop youth smoking

The Canadian Cancer Society is frustrated over Saskatchewan's stance on menthol cigarettes.

Global News / File

The Smoke-Free Alberta Campaign is continuing to urge the Alberta government to take more extensive measures to stop Alberta youth from using tobacco.

The health coalition said the government is stalling on measures to protect kids from tobacco.

READ MORE: Alberta government adds menthol to flavoured tobacco ban

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In 2013, the province banned flavoured tobacco, but the coalition said major sections of the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act have been unimplemented and unenforced.

The health coalition also said the province’s tobacco legislation has taken a back seat as the government has focused on marijuana legislation.

“Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Alberta and we need to do everything we can to prevent initiation,” said Angeline Webb, a public policy advisor and manager with the Canadian Cancer Society. “It’s much easier to stop it before it starts.”

READ MORE: Health coalition says Alberta government needs to do more to reduce tobacco use

In January, Smoke-Free Alberta released a report card in which it gave the government a “C-” for its effort to reduce tobacco use.

In the report, the health coalition said the province underperformed on issues like tobacco affordability, restricting youth access and providing uniform protection from second-hand smoke.

“All of these provisions remain on the shelf when we could be using them today to protect thousands and thousands of Alberta youth from the leading avoidable cause of premature death,” said Les Hagen, the executive director of Action on Smoking and Health.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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