Monday, December 22, 2008

Alberta's Tobacco Ban Legislation is Working

Last year I worked with a consortium of NGO health agencies in Alberta. We were successful in getting legislated smoking bans in public and work places, elimination of tobacco sale power walls and as of Jan 1, no tobacco sales in pharmacies.

Reports indicate this new legislation is working. Tobacco tax revenues are down in spite of a recent tax increase. This kind of prevention measure will save the health system money and improve the quality of life for everyone. Well maybe not for those poor souls who are freezing on the sidewalks at -30 and still puffing away. I wonder if the recession will help some more Albertans to get serious about quitting?

Alberta was one of the last provinces to get on the ball with this kind of legislated health prevention effort. With the change in Progressive Conservative Party leadership we have seen some interesting progressive policy efforts like this...and my other favourate public funding of midwifery. Again Alberta was a laggard. Better late than never.