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Health Minister Dave Hancock is firing back at a tobacco company that’s begun advertising in Edmonton, days after the province passed an Alberta-wide smoking ban.
Imperial Tobacco has been advertising snus — a tobacco product from Sweden packaged in tea-bag pouches that are tucked between the lip and the gum — in city newspapers and magazines.
The campaign is part of the company’s market study on the smokeless product, a form of tobacco that can be used in all public places — circumventing Alberta’s brand-new Tobacco Reduction Act.
“I’m not particularly happy that they’re using Edmonton as a test market,” Hancock told Metro. “Smoking obviously has its issues, but other tobacco products have their issues as well.”
The advertising is legal because of a recent Supreme Court ruling that clarified how tobacco companies can advertise through strict guidelines set up in Canada’s national tobacco laws.
Hancock says seeing the local tobacco campaign emerge while the province bans public smoking is probably coincidental timing, but he’s still not happy about it.