Tobacco reduction in Alberta

Learn about tobacco legislation in Alberta since 2003 to restrict and reduce tobacco use, banning menthol flavoured tobacco products in 2015

Tobacco reduction strategy 2012

Creating Tobacco-Free Futures: Alberta’s Strategy to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use, 2012–2022 outlines a long-range plan to help Albertans avoid and quit using tobacco products. The strategy focuses on:

  1. introducing legislation restricting the sale of flavoured tobacco
  2. introducing provincial legislation to prohibit tobacco sales to minorsi
  3. enacting legislation to protect children from second-hand smoke in vehicles
  4. increasing social marketing around the harms associated with tobacco use
  5. enhancing tobacco cessation training for health professionals
  6. expanding workplace, school-based and community tobacco-cessation programs

Other initiatives include point-of-sale health warning signage, tobacco tax increases, further restrictions on smoking in public areas, and expanding the availability of tobacco cessation products and resources.

Read Creating Tobacco-Free Futures: Alberta’s Strategy to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use, 2012–2022

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Tobacco reduction action

Menthol tobacco banned in 2015

To further restrict tobacco products from reaching our youth, the Alberta government banned the sale of menthol and flavoured tobacco products in 2015.

Other tobacco-restricting measures have been put into place to help protect young people from the dangers of smoking:

  • November 14, 2014 – smoking in vehicles with minors present as well as selling or giving tobacco products to minors was banned
  • June 1, 2015 – the sale of most flavoured tobacco products was banned and cigarettes, bidis, blunt wraps and certain cigars required to be sold in minimum package sizes
  • September 30, 2015 – the sale of menthol flavoured tobacco products in Alberta was banned

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Tobacco Reduction Amendment Act – 2013

On November 7, 2013, Bill 33 – The Tobacco Reduction Amendment Act, 2013 was introduced in the Legislative Assembly. The new legislation amended Alberta’s Tobacco Reduction Act to better protect Albertans from the harmful effects of tobacco, tobacco-like products and second-hand smoke.

Tobacco Reduction Act – 2008

On January 1, 2008, the Tobacco Reduction Act became law. The Tobacco Reduction Act:

  • prohibits smoking in all public places and workplaces
  • bans retail displays, advertising and promotion of tobacco products
  • prohibits the sale of tobacco products from all health-care facilities, public post-secondary campuses, pharmacies and stores that contain a pharmacy

Under this Act, tobacco products include any products composed in whole or in part of tobacco, including tobacco leaves or any extract of tobacco leaves. This includes:

  • cigarettes
  • cigars
  • cigarillos
  • pipe tobacco
  • specialty tobacco products like chewing tobacco, snus and snuff

Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use Act – 2003

In 2003, the Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use Act was proclaimed to promote the health of young persons by restricting their access to tobacco products. Under the Act, young persons under the age of 18 in possession of or consuming tobacco products could be found guilty of an offence and liable of a fine of not more than $100.

This Act and regulations are now part of the Tobacco Reduction Act and Regulations.