Smoking and tobacco use, and the growing use of vaping products continue to negatively affect the health of Albertans. Since the introduction of vaping products, the rate of use among Alberta youth aged 15 to 19 rose to 35 per cent in 2020 from 19 per cent in 2013. The long-term harms to children are not yet fully known, though immediate risks include lung injury, nicotine poisoning and addiction.

The government’s new Tobacco and Vaping Reduction Strategy builds upon the 2012 Creating Tobacco-Free Futures: Alberta’s Strategy to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use and supports initiatives to reduce the use of tobacco and vaping products in the province. From 2015 to 2021, the previous strategy guided work by Alberta’s government and its partners that led to a decrease from 18.4 per cent to 11.5 per cent in the province’s overall smoking rate. This new strategy will support efforts to further reduce tobacco and vaping product use, particularly among younger Albertans.

“This significant reduction of smoking deserves recognition and gratitude to our health and community partners who have worked tirelessly with us to achieve this progress and who have played a pivotal role in shaping the strategy. Congratulations to each Albertan who has made the choice to either quit smoking or made the proactive decision to not start in the first place. We have made great strides, but there is more work to be done and especially in our vaping reduction strategy.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health

“Our government is committed to supporting Albertans with healthy lifestyles, free from addiction. This reduction strategy will be vital to younger Albertans realizing the risks of tobacco use and vaping. We hope to see more Albertans choose to stop using these products as they learn more of the impact on their health.”

Dan Williams, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction

The Tobacco and Vaping Reduction Strategy includes strategies related to prevention, protection, cessation and capacity building. The strategy commits to:

  • Initiating a public education campaign aimed primarily at youth.
  • Developing online sales instructions for retailers pertaining to their role in limiting sales to youth in the online retail environment.
  • Developing a guidance document for educators in partnership with Alberta Health Services and school officials to assist with the rise in vaping product use in schools.
  • Continuing the work of the Tobacco and Vaping Enforcement Team.
  • Continuing to respect the use of ceremonial tobacco by First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in traditional spiritual and cultural practices.
  • Establishing a provincial advisory committee to monitor use of commercial smoking and vaping products, guide prevention and reduction efforts, and make the recommendations needed for ongoing progress.

Collaborative and coordinated partnerships will be instrumental as Alberta’s government continues this work. This strategy builds on the successes of Alberta’s previous tobacco reduction strategies dating back to 2002 but also sets ambitious targets for future achievements.

“The Canadian Cancer Society is pleased to see the Government of Alberta’s renewal of the Alberta Tobacco and Vaping Reduction Strategy. Commercial tobacco use is the leading cause of cancer mortality, and it places a tremendous burden on our quality of life, our health care system and our economy. This burden, suffering and premature death is preventable. The renewed strategy represents a comprehensive, collaborative approach that will help prevent and reduce commercial tobacco use and youth vaping in Alberta, will protect Alberta kids from nicotine dependency, reduce tobacco-related disease, and ultimately save lives.”

Angeline Webb, senior manager, advocacy, Canadian Cancer Society

“Alberta Lung is pleased to be part of the Provincial Committee on Tobacco and Vaping control. We applaud Alberta Health for making the lung health of Albertans a priority.”

Nina Snyder, chief operating officer, Alberta Lung 

"CSFA applauds the Government of Alberta's decision to renew the Tobacco and Vaping Reduction Strategy (TVRS), representing Alberta's most successful public health strategy. The TVRS has been integral in reducing tobacco use and related chronic disease since its inception in 2002 under Premier Klein, improving the quality of life for all Albertans." 

Brian Senio, advocacy consultant, Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta 

“Heart & Stroke congratulates the Alberta government on this important announcement. We lose more than 4,000 Albertans every year to tobacco-related causes. This renewed focus on tobacco and vaping policies will save lives and provides the tools to make real progress in reducing nicotine addiction in young Albertans. We look forward to contributing to this vital initiative as a member of the Provincial Committee on Tobacco and Vaping.”

Jennifer Michaud, director, health policy and systems, Heart & Stroke Alberta & NWT

“We congratulate the Alberta government for renewing the tobacco reduction strategy. This critical initiative is a model of success and collaboration, and it represents the province's most effective public health and addiction program. Many Albertans are leading healthier, longer, more rewarding, and more productive lives as a result of Alberta’s long-standing commitment to reducing and preventing tobacco use.”

Les Hagen, executive director, Action on Smoking and Health Canada

Quick facts

  • Addiction to tobacco products is the leading cause of preventable illness, disability and death in Alberta.
  • Between 2013 and 2020, the number of Albertans between the ages of 15 and 19 who used a vaping product rose to 35 per cent from 18 per cent. 
  • From 2015 to 2021, rates of daily or occasional smoking by Albertans aged 12 and over fell to 11.5 per cent from 18.4 per cent.

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