While smoking rates increase, Liberals stall flavoured tobacco laws

February 4, 2015

NDP Health critic Dave Wilson says he is frustrated the Liberal government continues to waiver on the issue of flavoured tobacco while smoking rates in Nova Scotia jumped in the past year.

“Nova Scotia has the second highest smoking rate in the country. We need to be doing everything we can to ensure the next generation of Nova Scotians don’t fall in to the smoking trap. That includes sending a clear message to young Nova Scotians about flavoured tobacco,” said Wilson.

Results of the 2013 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, released yesterday, show an increase in smoking rates in Nova Scotia from 15.6 per cent to 19.4 per cent.

After considering banning flavoured tobacco last fall but abandoning the idea, on Jan. 20, government launched a public consultation on flavoured tobacco. According the government press release, Health Minister Leo Glavine is trying to determine exactly, “which flavours should be exempt from a ban on flavoured tobacco and e-cigarette juice.”

Wilson says he doesn’t agree with the government’s approach which could allow certain flavours of tobacco to continue to be available.

“It’s like saying you’re going to ban pop and then only banning Cola, and not Sprite,” said Wilson.

“Instead of asking Nova Scotians which flavour of tobacco they like best, government should be sending a clear message about the dangers of all flavoured tobacco.”