The Eastern Canadian province of Nova Scotia has passed legislation banning most flavoured tobacco products. The bill, introduced by Health Minister Leo Glavine, passed the third reading in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly on 28 April 2015. It adds to legislation passed in autumn 2014 that banned use of e-cigarettes in public places and restricted display and advertisement. Both measures will come into effect on 31 May 2015.
Under the new regulations, all flavoured tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavoured smokeless tobacco products will be banned, the only exemptions being cigars above a weight of 5 grams and a price of $4. In previous versions of the draft law, menthol had been excluded, but as menthol cigarettes are popular especially among youth smokers and are considered as a gateway to smoking, lawmakers decided to have them included in the final version.
This step is in line with the WHO FCTC Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Art. 9. According to the corresponding Guidelines, there is no justification for permitting the use of ingredients, such as flavouring agents, which help make tobacco products attractive. The Guidelines encourages therefore the Parties to introduce restrictions or bans of some ingredients.
The Canadian Cancer Society expressed its content with the decision, calling Nova Scotia a national leader in tobacco control. Spokesperson Kelly Cull pointed out that banning menthol could contribute to reducing smoking among youths, and added that other Canadian provinces like Ontario are currently considering similar steps.
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