May 1, 2012
LEGISLATION WOULD PROHIBIT SALE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS IN PHARMACIES, HEALTH-CARE FACILITIES, VENDING MACHINES– – –
Plan Would Further Province's Commitment to Reducing Smoking: Rondeau
The province is continuing efforts to reduce the use of tobacco in Manitoba by introducing legislation that would ban the supply of tobacco products in pharmacies and health-care facilities, as well as prohibit the sale of tobacco products from vending machines, Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau announced today.
“Tobacco takes a terrible toll on the health of Manitobans and costs $237 million annually in related health costs,” said Rondeau. “Research has shown that making it harder to buy tobacco products helps reduce the number of smokers and helps prevent youth from taking up smoking in the first place.”
The province has worked to reduce tobacco use, especially among children, Rondeau said. From 1999 to 2010, smoking rates for Manitoba youth ages 15 to 19 dropped to 15 per cent from 29 per cent. Among the measures taken so far are:
- passing legislation to remove tobacco products from being on display on store shelves;
- establishing Students Working Against Tobacco (S.W.A.T.) teams in more than 20 schools throughout the province;
- establishing the first indoor smoking ban in Canada in 2004;
- increasing tobacco taxes to the second-highest level in the country; and
- committing to invest two per cent of tobacco revenue to reduce tobacco use in Manitoba.
The province also announced in June 2011 that it would work with other provinces to pursue legal action against the tobacco industry to recover health-care costs.
This proposed legislation meets the standards suggested by the Manitoba Society of Pharmacists and the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association, Rondeau said.
“The sale of tobacco products is contrary to the public’s health and we commend the Manitoba government for introducing legislation that prohibits the sale of tobacco products in Manitoba pharmacies,” said Ronald Guse, registrar, Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association. “We encourage Manitobans who want to stop smoking to speak to their pharmacist to learn more about the smoking cessation programs available.”
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