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Alberta promises new legislation to reduce smoking rates among youth

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EDMONTON - The Alberta government plans to introduce laws to prohibit the sale of cigarettes to children and to protect kids from secondhand smoke in cars.

The initiative introduced by Health Minister Fred Horne is part of a three-year strategy to reduce tobacco use.

Horne says the province will also bring in rules to restrict the sale of flavoured tobacco and expand school-based stop-smoking programs.

He adds the government will also consider tobacco tax increases and further restrictions on smoking in public areas.

Funding is to come from the Alberta Health Services budget.

There will be an extra $500,000 for a social media campaign on the dangers of smoking.

The province estimates smoking rates in Alberta have fallen from 25 per cent in 2001 to 19 per cent in 2010.

Meanwhile, some members of Calgary city council are pushing for that city's no-smoking bylaw to be expanded to include outdoor spaces.

City staff have been asked to look at how to discourage people from lighting up at playgrounds, sports fields and outdoor rinks.

"What we're really aiming at here is having more healthy behaviour among young people outdoors," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who supports the idea.

(CTV Calgary)

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