Tobacco Info

From Tobacco Info No. 2 - September 2010
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Smoke-free cars in Manitoba


Provincial legislation prohibiting smoking in vehicles carrying children under the age of 16 was proclaimed to come into force on July 15, 2010, under the Highway Traffic Amendment Act, and carries a fine of $200 in Manitoba. Eight provinces and territories have adopted legislation to prohibit smoking in vehicles carrying children: BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and the Yukon.  (Saskatchewan’s legislation is not yet in effect.)


Saskatchewan amends tobacco tax


In Saskatchewan, the Tobacco Tax Amendment Regulations 2010, were approved June 24, and came into force on June 25. The new regulations include a limit on the quantity of tax-exempt tobacco that a status native (tax exempt purchaser) may purchase per week of 200 units (a unit is one cigarette, one tobacco stick, one cigar/cigarillo, one gram of loose tobacco).  There is a limit on a status native possessing more than 800 units of tax-exempt tobacco at any one time. All on-reserve retailers selling tobacco products are required to register with the provincial government.  Duty-free stores are also required to register with the province.


Smoking in federal jails


On June 21, three judges of the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) unanimously set aside a judgment by the Federal Court on the authority of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to ban smoking indoors and outdoors within the perimeter of federal correctional facilities.  On October 23, the Federal Court judge had declared the Directive no. 259 issued by the Commissioner of the CSC null and void, a directive aimed at protecting the health of non-smokers among inmates, CSC staff, volunteers and visitors.  Now, the FCA states the judge of the Federal Court ought not to have intervened.


The federal prisons in Canada are totally smoke-free since June 2008, more than two years after a rule was enforced allowing the possession of tobacco by inmates and smoking in outdoor spaces. The Commissioner of the CSC had then concluded such a rule was hard to apply seeing “intensive monitoring is required to ensure that inmates do not smuggle or steal cigarettes when they access their lock boxes and that effective monitoring is almost impossible when dealing with a large, open population.”  While recording a lot of smoking-related disciplinary charges with the former rule, the CSC had also noticed “exposure to second-hand smoke within institutions would not be eliminated.


Alberta government wins award


A coalition of prominent health organizations presented the Alberta government with a Tobacco Reduction Achievement Award for its role in contributing to three consecutive years of reduced tobacco consumption in July. New data released by Alberta Finance has revealed that Albertans have smoked one billion fewer cigarettes since 2007.  The consistent three-year reduction points to a strong cause-and-effect relationship between effective tobacco control policies and consumption.