Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More Good News On Alberta Tobacco Control

More good news on the tobacco control front in Alberta. Alberta Health and Wellness and Minister Dave Hancock have been hard at work over the summer writing regulations on the necessary phasing in of Bill 45 (prohibiting smoking in public and work places). Bill 45 is expected to pass Third Reading in the fall session of the Alberta Legislature this November. Starting in the New Year as this legislation gets implemented; things will change for the better and a healthier Alberta.

There are some terrific video interviews on Policy Channel (http://www.policychannel/) with Ken Kobly (Alberta Chambers of Commerce) and Gil McGowan (Alberta Federation of Labour) on the reasons why a workplace ban is a good idea. Full disclosure - I do work for a coalition of heath agencies and organizations in Alberta who are lobbying for tobacco control legislation and Policy Channel is an affilate site of my firm.

Stats Can has been releasing new data showing smoking bans work showing an impressive 27% of people who can’t smoke on the job end up quitting within 2 years of the bans coming into force.

Today Stat Can released another report on cigarette manufacturing. Again showing the trends are in the right direction but it excluded imported tobacco products but that can’t be a large enough portion of the Canadian market to affect the overall trend downward. Here is an excerpt from the report. More encourging news., productino is down and inventories are up...meaing we are making and selling fewer cigarettes.

Total cigarettes sold in July by Canadian manufacturers increased 13.7% from June to 1.7 billion cigarettes, down 22.6% compared with July 2006.

Cigarette production in July decreased 30.5% from June to 1.2 billion cigarettes, down 32.5% from July 2006.

At 1.6 billion cigarettes, the level of closing inventories for July was 23.4% higher than in June and 4.8% higher than in July 2006.

Note: This survey collects data on the production of tobacco products in Canada by Canadian manufacturers and the disposition or sales of this production. It does not collect data on imported tobacco products. Therefore, sales information in this release is not a proxy for domestic consumption of tobacco products.