Alberta’s Health Minister caves to big tobacco: NDP

 

EDMONTON – NDP MLA, David Eggen, called on the government today to reconsider its decision not to ban menthol flavoured tobacco in Alberta.

“Today this government caved to big tobacco and it put the profit-making strategies of tobacco companies ahead of the health and safety of Alberta’s youth,” said Eggen.

“This legislation is meant to protect our children, and yet the most dangerous of the flavoured tobaccos will now be allowed to remain accessible to kids.”
 
Studies have shown over a third of youth smokers use menthol products and are three times less likely to quit smoking than non-menthol smokers.
 
“We know that flavoured tobacco products are the hook to get young Albertans addicted to cigarettes when they’re vulnerable, and that menthol products are especially dangerous for youth,” said Eggen.
 
By proclaiming Bills 206 and 33, the new Minister of Health and the new Premier have preserved the exemption for menthol. Mandel has publicly stated his reluctance to regulating menthol and his unwillingness to close the menthol exemptions numerous times.
 
“Alberta has one of the highest youth smoking rates in the country. Everyone should be committed to working together to prevent youth from falling into the addictions that will impact their wellbeing for the rest of their lives.”
 
In October, the NDP revealed close ties between the PC party, Stephen Mandel and a top tobacco lobbyist, Hal Danchilla. “Mandel needs to act to help protect and improve the health of Alberta’s youth, not to protect Big Tobacco’s bottom line,” said Eggen.
 
“From a public health perspective, from any reasonable perspective, there is no reason to continue to exempt menthol from regulation. I can only conclude that Mandel is looking out for his friends’ profit margins instead of Alberta youth.”

“Alberta has one of the highest youth smoking rates in the country. Everyone should be committed to working together to prevent youth from falling into the addictions that will impact their wellbeing for the rest of their lives.”
 
In October, the NDP revealed close ties between the PC party, Stephen Mandel and a top tobacco lobbyist, Hal Danchilla.

“Mandel needs to act to help protect and improve the health of Alberta’s youth, not to protect Big Tobacco’s bottom line,” said Eggen.
 
“From a public health perspective, from any reasonable perspective, there is no reason to continue to exempt menthol from regulation. I can only conclude that Mandel is looking out for his friends’ profit margins instead of Alberta youth.”