A new definition of public places where youth can be charged with possession or use of tobacco came into effect last week with the proclamation of the Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use Amendment Act and regulation.
The original act prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from using or possessing a tobacco product in public. Youth contravening the law face a fine of $100 and seizure of their tobacco product.
The amendment expands the definition of public places where youth can be charged with possession or use of tobacco to include buildings such as schools and shopping malls, and streets and parks.
Other amendments that are now law provide for limited exemptions for tobacco use and possession by youth, including:
- The handling of tobacco products by sales clerks under the age of 18.
- The use of youth in federal enforcement programs (retailer compliance checks)
- The ceremonial use of tobacco by Aboriginal youth.
?These amendments will mean easier enforcement of a law designed to reduce and prevent tobacco use by young people,? said Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission Chair Marlene Graham.
?The law is helping to prevent young people from starting to use tobacco and reducing their chances of becoming addicted to a life-threatening substance.?
A copy of the Act is available on-line at www.qp.gov.ab.ca/catalogue.