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‘Fallen way behind’: Alberta is now the only province without vaping legislation

FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2019 file photo, a man blows a puff of smoke as he vapes with an electronic cigarette.
FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2019 file photo, a man blows a puff of smoke as he vapes with an electronic cigarette. AP Photo/Jim Mone

Anti-smoking advocates in Alberta say the province is officially behind the rest of Canada when it comes to vaping rules, after Saskatchewan introduced new legislation Tuesday, the only other province which had yet to do so.

“This is completely unacceptable,” Les Hagen from Action on Smoking and Health said in a news release Wednesday.

“Alberta has fallen way behind other provinces in protecting kids from vaping products,” he said.

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The provincial government said in early October it was launching a review of the Tobacco Act with the hope that any amendments will be in place by spring 2020.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro said at the time he was “concerned about the rising use of vaping products.”

READ MORE: Alberta government will address vaping in review of Tobacco Act

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As part of the review, the province is asking for feedback from residents in a survey that will be open until Nov. 29.

The groups calling for the province to act now are part of the Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta — a coalition of health organizations.

Some of the restrictions the coalition is calling for include a complete ban of flavoured vape products, prohibiting retail displays and promotions, and preventing the sale to minors.

“Youth vaping has reached epidemic proportions and it now threatens to undermine the tremendous progress that has been made in reducing youth smoking over the past few decades,” Kristyn Berry from the Heart and Stroke Foundation said.

“Youth who vape are four times as likely to become smokers.”