Niemand minder dan de premier van de Canadese provincie Alberta sprak zich deze week uit tegen de invoering van rookverboden.
“Ik zie geen verschillen tussen de gezondheid van de bevolking van provincies mét en die zónder rookverboden” zei hij tijdens een persconferentie in de Canadese anti-tabaksweek. Voorlichting en het tegengaan van tabaksreclame zijn veel effectiever volgens Premier Klein.
In a statement that infuriated anti-tobacco advocates, Klein said smoking bans aren’t effective, arguing public education and anti-tobacco advertising are better at preventing young people from picking up the habit.
“I don’t know if (bans have) done that much good,” said Klein, admitting he smoked four cigarettes on Weedless Wednesday this week. “I was in Ontario and I didn’t see a healthier Ontarian than I saw in Quebec, where they don’t have smoking bans at all.”
Klein’s remarks come during national non-smoking week and follow debate over the province’s tobacco policies.
Newly appointed Health Minister Iris Evans said last week she will pursue a reduction or a total ban on smoking in workplaces.
The premier quickly shot down any move towards a universal smoking ban in Alberta and said municipalities must decide for themselves.
On Wednesday, Evans said she still wants to bring in anti-smoking measures and hopes to make caucus “well-informed” on the issues.
“(The premier) said no to a province-wide ban, but within the context of that, I’m hoping there are elements of that we can accelerate,” she said.
Anti-tobacco advocates dismissed Klein’s statement that bans don’t work, saying statistics show they are second only to tobacco taxes in reducing smoking rates.