POLITICS

Nova Scotia will need second bill to regulate flavoured tobacco: health minister

11/06/2014 02:19 EST | Updated 01/06/2015 05:59 EST
HALIFAX - A second bill will be needed to regulate flavoured tobacco, Nova Scotia's health minister said Thursday, a day after the provincial government backed down from its proposal to ban it.

Leo Glavine said the government still intends to pass legislation this fall that would outlaw the use of water pipes such as hookahs and e-cigarettes in indoor public places as well as the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 19.

It would also prohibit retailers from displaying, advertising or promoting the devices, effectively treating them like regular cigarettes.

On Wednesday, the government withdrew an amendment that would have banned flavoured tobacco.

Glavine said the intent now is to have both pieces of legislation take effect by May 31.

Both opposition parties said separating the bills makes no sense when studies show the use of flavoured tobacco is prevalent among youth.

Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie said the government's decision is not how to make a law, especially after the government's initial proposal had broad support.

"Now the government has flip-flopped on it and they are going to take six months, a year or who knows to put the pieces back together again," said Baillie.

Baillie said the government should re-instate the ban on flavoured tobacco before the current bill is passed.

NDP health critic Dave Wilson called the government's decision "ridiculous."

"It was a piece of legislation that would have protected young people and new consumers of tobacco products — that's what flavoured tobacco is geared towards," said Wilson.

But Glavine said the government has decided to pass legislation now that will be bolstered by another bill to be introduced later aimed at ensuring youth do not have access to flavoured tobacco products.

The government plans to conduct public consultations within a year that will focus on products and flavours targeted at youth.