Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bill 45 - Smoking Ban Law Passes Third Reading in Alberta

Bill 45 the Tobacco Reduction Act received 3rd and final reading today in the Alberta Legislature this afternoon. This has been a long time coming. Many passed Alberta Health Ministers have tried and failed. With a new Premier in Stelmach and as renewed effort by a new Minister of Health and WELLNESS in Hancock…it has happened.

The real hero’s here are the coalition of health advocacy groups, professional and health care groups that have banded together, stayed together and even grown in numbers and strength. Their consistent and persistent lobby efforts and sustained energy and collective intelligence is the stuff that really made this happen.

Of course it is not groups or organizations or even political parties of governments that makes this stuff work and gets positive results. It is individuals with talent, time and ability that work together for common cause that makes this kind of policy change really happen. I have been working with these individuals and the coalition they have formed this past year on getting Bill 45 introduced and passed.

Congratulations to the folks behind Action on Smoking and Health Alberta for a job well done. Congratulations to Minister of Health and Wellness Dave Hancock and the people in the department who have assisted the effort.

This smoking ban law in public and working places is one of the easiest and best ways to improve the quality of life for Albertans. It is also one of the best wellness initiatives the government could have undertaken to prevent disease and to improve the wellness of Albertans as well.