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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Alberta's Smoking Ban is Working

Nice to see some creative pubic policy working. Cigarette sales are dropping in Alberta. This is said to be as a result of a recent positive move by the Stelmach government to ban smoking in public and workplaces.

Full disclosure - I worked on this lobbying effort with a consortium of health advocacy groups and professional organizations.

The second positive contribution to this positive preventative health trend is the tax increase on cigarettes in Alberta. Recent pronouncements by Premier Stelmach that there will be no tax increases while he is in charge have to be rethought in circumstances when they can produce positive health benefits like this.

Taxes are one of the most effective ways of dissuading kids form picking up the addictive smoking habit. Glad to see the positive results coming in about reduced tobacco sales. Now we have to keep up the momentum with further tax increases and programs to pay for things like the patch to help people to quit.