Alberta may add vaping regulations to tobacco and smoking legislation

Oct 4 2019, 9:09 am

Vapes may be going the way of the cigarette — at least concerning when and where you can use them

The Province of Alberta has announced that it is looking into regulating vaping under similar restrictions currently imposed upon smoking, as the province’s smoking and tobacco legislation does not specifically address vaping, hookah, and waterpipe use.

The government release states that MLA Jeremy Nixon has been given the go-ahead from Health Minister Tyler Shandro to lead a review of that legislation beginning November 1.

“Like most Albertans, I’m concerned about the rising use of vaping products, especially among young people, and recent reports of severe lung disease associated with these products,” said Shandro in the release.

“We don’t know yet what the links are, but we know vaping has risks. We need evidence-based regulation of tobacco and related products, including vaping products.”

Albertans will be able to submit input about the potential changes to legislation over the coming months, as the review is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and amendments introduced in the Spring 2020 session of the legislature.

“I share the minister’s concerns, and I’m looking forward to helping address an issue that’s important to Albertans and to our government,” said Nixon in the release.

“We all want to protect citizens from harm — especially young people — and we want to see smoking rates come down. I’m looking forward to reviewing the evidence carefully, with help from experts. And I’m looking forward to hearing from Albertans, because good policy needs to reflect the public’s views as well as the evidence.”

According to Alberta’s current Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act, smoking tobacco products is not permitted within five metres of a doorway, window, or air intake, or in public premises and workplaces.

The City of Calgary has amended its own smoking bylaw to “prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in public premises where tobacco is currently prohibited,” which may be the fate of vapes throughout the province come next spring.