New Brunswick, Canada - New Democratic Party tobacco-control strategy..

September 20, 2010- The 57th New Brunswick general election will be held on September 27, 2010. The election will return members to the Legislative Assembly in the province of New Brunswick, Canada. (New Brunswick general election, 2010)

New Democratic MLAs (members of the legislative assembly) will champion the creation of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy for New Brunswick, NDP (New Democratic Party) leader Roger Duguay said Sunday, September 19th.

Duguay: "Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in New Brunswick, so reducing smoking is critical to the sustainability of our health care system. New Brunswick is behind most other provinces in terms of taking the steps needed to reduce smoking among children and adults, but NDP MLAs will work to make sure we jump to the head of the pack."

According to health groups like the Canadian Cancer Society, he said, raising cigarette taxes is one of the most effective ways for a province to reduce its smoking rate.

Duguay said New Brunswick has the second lowest cigarette tax rate in Canada — about 10 cents per cigarette lower than the other Maritime provinces.

The NDP tobacco control plan proposes to raise cigarette taxes by 2.5 cents per year over four years, he said, bringing the tax into line with Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island by the fourth year. Duguay said this would will raise about $55 million in revenue for the province, and eventually reduce tobacco consumption by about 10 percent.

Other tobacco control strategies the NDP will champion include:
* Legislating plain packaging of tobacco products, as recommended by international tobacco control guidelines to reduce tobacco industry marketing to kids;
* Tobacco retail reform to better enforce the law against selling tobacco to kids;
* A contraband prevention strategy, along the lines recommended by the Canadian Cancer Society and other health groups, to reduce the availability of illegal contraband tobacco;
* Expanding the Smoke-Free Places Act to include outdoor locations where people gather, particularly places where children gather like parks and playgrounds (As of June 30, 2004, smoking was prohibited in all workplaces, including restaurants, bars, bingo and bowling facilities, and casinos, Smoke-free Places Act);
* When the deficit is eliminated and resources allow, expanding smoking cessation services.

Cutting smoking an NDP priority, CBC News, 9/19/2010.

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