News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

March 4, 2021

PROVINCE INTRODUCES PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE SMOKING AND VAPOUR PRODUCTS CONTROL ACT FOR A HEALTHIER MANITOBA

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Smoking Kills More Than 2,000 Manitobans Every Year: Gordon

To provide equitable access to healthy, smoke-free and vapour-free spaces across Manitoba and reduce smoking rates among children and youth, Bill 56 has been introduced and proposes changes to the Smoking and Vapour Products Control Act, Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery Minister Audrey Gordon announced today.

“Commercial tobacco remains the leading preventable cause of premature death in the world. This act works to prevent youth from starting to smoke or use e-cigarettes, and protects Manitobans from second-hand exposure to smoke or vapour products in enclosed public places and indoor workplaces,” said Gordon. “Extending the application of the act to areas under federal jurisdiction would help ensure that every Manitoban has the ability to live and work in a smoke-free environment.”

Bill 56 would extend the application of the restrictions in the act on smoking and using e-cigarettes in enclosed public places, indoor workplaces and other specified places to areas under federal jurisdiction. It would also extend the application of the restrictions on the display, advertising and promotion of tobacco and vapour products to these areas as well as the prohibitions on the sale and supply of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and related products to children.

“We are pleased to see the government of Manitoba recognizes the continuing impact that commercial tobacco and vaping products have on the health of Manitobans,” said John McDonald, executive director, Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance. “Improving legislation to protect the health and well-being of Manitobans is crucial as big tobacco and vaping companies continue to look for ways to profit off the health of individuals. Protecting young people from nicotine addiction is an issue being addressed around the world as these companies look to entice youth through the burgeoning vape products industry.”

While Bill 56 seeks to apply the act to areas under federal jurisdiction, which includes reserves, the province recognizes that exceptions apply related to the doctrine of federal paramountcy, or jurisdiction, and the authority of band councils to pass bylaws that take precedence over provincial laws of general application. The act currently offers exceptions for the ceremonial or traditional use of tobacco, which would remain unchanged.

In 2015, Manitoba Health and Seniors Care commissioned the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy to complete the Cost of Smoking: A Manitoba Study, which determined direct smoking-related illnesses cost the province $244 million annually.

The minister noted that while it has been on hold due to COVID-19, the province continues to support the first-of-its kind Smoking Cessation Social Impact Bond announced in 2019, in partnership with Pharmacists Manitoba and Loblaws, with a goal of reaching a 12 per cent quit rate among participants. The program is set to begin in early summer.

For more information on Manitoba’s approach to smoking control and cessation, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/tobacco/quitting.html.

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