McNeil Liberals cave to big tobacco

November 5, 2014

Today the McNeil government caved to big tobacco and placed the health of young Nova Scotians at risk says NDP Health critic Dave Wilson. The Liberals reversed their decision when they amended their own bill today, Nov. 5.

The evidence on the perils of flavoured tobacco and kids is clear, says Wilson. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the 2012/13 Youth Smoking Survey showed 50 per cent of high school students in Canada who used tobacco products in the previous 30 days used flavoured tobacco products. 29 per cent of youth smokers had smoked menthol cigarettes in the previous 30 days.

“This reversal shows how short sighted the Liberal government is. Yesterday the Minister was defending the move making it about protecting our children from becoming full habitual smokers, what changed?” said Wilson.

“Nurses and health care professionals pleaded with the government not to take away their fair collective bargaining rights and the Liberals ignored them. But when it came to flavoured tobacco and kids, they listened to big tobacco companies. I am at a loss here.”

The NDP caucus will present amendments when the bill goes back to the House of Assembly today or tomorrow. The amendments will ban all flavoured tobacco, including menthol.

“We need to give this every consideration possible. All the evidence is right in front of us. We need to try to make the Liberals listen to their own arguments.”