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Providing Leadership in Tobacco Reduction

Manitobans Want E-Cigarette Use

Regulated Like Smoking

Winnipeg, Manitoba (September 8, 2015) – A recent survey from MANTRA (Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance) conducted by Prairie Research Associates found that the majority of Manitobans want e-cigarette use regulated like smoking. Highlights from the survey include:

•   Manitobans do not want youth accessing e-cigarettes. According to the survey 78% support  restricting shops that primarily sell e-cigarettes to those 18 years of age and older.

•   77% of Manitobans support treating e-cigarette use the same as smoking tobacco, meaning use is banned in all enclosed public places and indoor workplaces.

•   When presented with possible exemptions, 65% of Manitobans oppose allowing e-cigarette use in bars, lounges, casinos and other public places where only adults are permitted.

In June of 2015, the Province of Manitoba announced a bill amending the Non Smokers’ Health Protection Act to include regulation of e-cigarettes. Many provinces have acted to regulate e-cigarettes like tobacco products but the Manitoba legislation has taken a different and less restrictive approach. One way in which the Manitoba bill differs from other provinces is that it allows for possible future exemptions for e-cigarette use in bars, casinos and other public places where only adults are permitted.

MANTRA agrees with the majority of Manitobans who oppose exemptions for adult-only establishments like bars, casinos and lounges. Because e-cigarettes are unregulated devices that have only recently become popular, there is only a small body of research about potential health risks associated with vaping and it is not known how vaping will impact smoking rates. We know from the survey that about 6 in 10 Manitobans have concerns about whether being exposed to the exhaled vapour of an e-cigarette is safe.

Another concern raised by the survey is the issue of “dual use”. According to the survey, the majority of recent e-cigarette users in Manitoba also smoke regular cigarettes. This data suggests that dual use is a problem in Manitoba.  “Dual users are those who use both e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes,” says MANTRA Executive Director Murray Gibson. “They are not using e-cigarettes to quit smoking but to save money, reduce their smoking, or to address their addiction where smoking is not allowed or acceptable.” It is MANTRA’s position that banning e-cigarette use in bars, casinos, and lounges will do nothing to prevent people from using e-cigarettes to quit smoking, but this ban will be effective in reducing the problem of dual use.

The Manitoba legislation also differs from other provinces in that it will allow for sampling and testing of e-cigarette products in businesses where youth are not allowed and the sale of e-cigarette products is the main business activity. About 50% of Manitobans support allowing the use of e-cigarettes for testing and sampling in vapour product shops.  If testing and sampling of products is to be allowed, it is MANTRA’s position that vapour product shops be restricted from selling products not directly related to vaping so they do not become lounges that promote a lifestyle of vaping.

Bill 30 goes to committee on Wednesday, September 9. MANTRA has the following recommendations for changes to the bill:

1) E-cigarette use should not be allowed in bars, casinos and lounges.

2) If vapour product shops allow testing and sampling of products they should be restricted to selling only e-cigarettes, e-juice and related products.

Methodology

This Omnibus survey was conducted by PRA in June and Early July of 2015. A total of 800 Manitoba residents, 18 years of age and over, were interviewed by telephone on a range of issues.

Approximate error rate +/- 3.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About MANTRA

Founded as a nonprofit in 2002, MANTRA functions as a catalyst and coordinator for tobacco reduction activities in Manitoba. Our vision is to eliminate tobacco use for a healthier Manitoba.

For more information please contact:

Contact Murray Gibson, Executive Director MANTRA

204.784.7030

www.mantrainc.ca

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PRESS RELEASE – MAY 31, 2014: WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY

Manitobans Want More Smoke-Free

Outdoor Public Places

Winnipeg, Manitoba (May 30, 2014) – A recent survey from  MANTRA (Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance) conducted by Prairie Research Associates finds that most Manitobans want to enjoy outdoor patios and other public places without being exposed to second hand smoke (SHS). Highlights from the survey include:

• About 2 in 3 (67%) support extending smoking bans to outdoor patios of restaurants and bars, an increase from 58% in 2008.

• The majority of Manitobans support extending a ban to beaches (65%), public parks and green spaces (61%), and outdoor events (59%).

• Almost 8 in 10 Manitobans and more than half of current smokers feel that smoking restrictions have made their community a better place to live.

Despite downward trends in smoking rates in recent years, information from the Canadian Community Health Survey has shown that Manitobans exposure to second hand smoke in vehicles and public places has actually increased.

This is concerning because it is well established that there is no safe level of exposure to SHS and even brief exposures can have serious health consequences. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention even brief exposures can damage cells in ways that set the cancer process in motion, trigger heart attacks in people with pre-existing heart conditions, and can cause asthma attacks in children.

Public smoking bans are not just about protecting people from SHS. About 3 in 4 Manitoba smokers would like to quit and one effective way of supporting their quit attempts is to increase smoking bans in outdoor public places. Research shows that when smoking bans are implemented, many smokers choose to quit or cut back.

There are several other excellent reasons to ban smoking in outdoor public places such as reducing litter, protecting the environment, reducing fire risk and decreasing negative role modelling for children. For these and other reasons many communities, governments and private businesses across Canada have chosen to make outdoor public spaces smoke free.

Despite strong public demand, here in Manitoba there are few restrictions regarding smoking in outdoor public places. With spring already upon us, it is important for governments and private businesses to meet the needs of the Manitobans by acting quickly.

Considering the great benefits of smoking bans as well as Manitobans strong support for them, MANTRA recommends the following measures:

1. All Manitoba municipalities ban smoking on outdoor patios of bars and restaurants and the City of Winnipeg take a leadership role in initiating this action.

2. Municipal governments responsible for parks that have beaches and playgrounds follow the provinces lead by banning smoking on them.

3. Festival organizers of events in outdoor public parks and green spaces declare their events smoke-free.

Methodology

The PRA Omnibus survey was conducted in September 2013. In Manitoba, 800 residents 18 years of age and over were interviewed by telephone on a range of issues.  Theoretical error rate ± 3.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About MANTRA

Founded as a non-profit in 2002, MANTRA functions as a catalyst and coordinator for tobacco reduction activities in Manitoba. Our vision is to eliminate tobacco use for a healthier Manitoba.

For more information please contact:

Contact Murray Gibson, Executive Director MANTRA

204.784.7030

mgibson@mantrainc.ca

www.mantrainc.ca

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PRESS RELEASE – JUNE 25, 2013: SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT DWELLINGS

Manitoban’s Demand for Smoke-Free Housing

in Multi-Unit Dwellings Not Being Met

Winnipeg, Manitoba (June 25, 2013) – The Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance Inc.’s

(MANTRA) new research on multi-unit dwelling tenants and owners conducted by PRA

(Prairie Research Associates) Inc. finds that:

• More than 7 in 10 Manitobans would prefer to live in a building that does not allow

smoking anywhere inside (i.e. “smoke-free”).

• Only about 4 in 10 actually do because of a lack of supply.

• 42% of those who smoke or have a family member that smokes, would choose

to live in a building that is smoke-free.

Exposure to second hand smoke that drifts into units from other parts of the building

is the driver for why many Manitoban tenants of multi-unit dwellings desire a smoke-

free environment. In fact, 1 in 3 tenants say such drifting has taken place at least once

in the last six months and about 8% have reported a negative health outcome from

this exposure.

Tenants seeking smoke-free housing are further challenged by the fact that there

appears to be no standard definition of the term “smoke-free” and that it is applied

to a wide variety of situations. For example, among tenants who stated they live in

smoke-free housing, 35% also said that smoking is actually allowed in the building.

Further, among property managers who say they have formal smoking policies, 44%

allow smoking in suites.

Managers and building owners see advantages to addressing smoking in and around

their buildings such as: reduced fire risk, lower maintenance costs, reduction in tenant

complaints, and benefits to tenant health. However, these advantages alone have not

translated into buildings transitioning to completely smoke-free, possibly because they

are not aware of the high demand (indeed, few actually kept track of the demand for

smoke-free units) nor do they realize that many smokers would choose to live in

a building that is smoke-free.

The result is that many Manitobans living in multi-unit dwellings may be living

in buildings that do not meet their expectations and property managers are receiving

complaints that could be avoided with clearly written disclosure of a buildings smoking

policy at the signing of a lease. Although the vast majority of tenants want to live

in housing that does not allow smoking inside, the lack of clarity around the definition

of smoke-free, combined with no requirements for smoking policies to be disclosed

means that tenants may not realize the true situation they are moving into and may

have little recourse against second hand smoke entering their homes.

So if there exists high demand for smoke-free multi-unit dwellings and suppliers

of such housing see the benefit of non-smoking buildings, why then is the demand not

being met? We believe in part it is because there is confusion in the market place.

MANTRA would recommend the following to help both tenants and owners clarify the

situation in multi-unit dwellings:

1) A standardized definition of the term “smoke-free”

2) Complete and formal disclosure of building’s smoking policies to tenants

3) A shift to smoke-free housing by individual building owners

4) Increased government encouragement to transition buildings to smoke-free

Methodology

For this research PRA employed a combination of three approaches: 1) a survey

of 50 property management companies responsible for managing a total of 1,655

apartments, condominiums, and multi-until housing buildings, conducted by phone

in late May; 2) fifty mystery shops, 40 with multi-family apartment leasers and

landlords, and 10 with multi-family condominium real estate agents by phone between

May 17 and May 29; and 3) a random sample survey of 401 Manitobans living

in residents with shared-walls, conducted by phone from May 9 to 31, 2013 (theoretical

error rate: ± 5%, 19 times out of 20).

The full spectrum approach of this research enables MANTRA to understand the

source of smoking policy governance (rental management companies), the

communication and implementation of the policies (leasers, landlords, and real estate

agents), and the adherence to and outcomes of the policies (shared-walls residents).

About MANTRA

Founded as a non profit in 2002, MANTRA functions as a catalyst and coordinator

for tobacco reduction activities in Manitoba. Our vision is to eliminate tobacco use

for a healthier Manitoba.

For more information please contact:

Contact Murray Gibson, Executive Director MANTRA

204.784.7030

mgibson@mantrainc.ca

www.mantrainc.ca

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PRESS RELEASE – MAY 31, 2013: PHARMACY BAN

MANTRA Applauds Recent Pharmacy Ban, Calls for

Reduced Locations for Tobacco Sales

May 31 is World No Tobacco Day

Winnipeg, Manitoba (May 31-2013) – Today, legislation comes into effect banning

tobacco sales in pharmacies and vending machines. MANTRA (Manitoba Tobacco

Reduction Alliance) recognizes that reducing the number of locations where tobacco

is sold is a vital measure toward lowering Manitoba’s smoking rates.

“The legislation coming into effect today is certainly a welcome first step,” says

Murray Gibson, Executive Director at MANTRA “unfortunately we’re seeing that many

stores containing pharmacies are choosing to continue selling tobacco, a product that

is lethal when used as intended.”

The Manitoba legislation allows stores to continue selling tobacco if they create

a separate entrance to the pharmacy, making it inaccessible to the rest of the store.

MANTRA commends businesses like Rexall and Shoppers Drug Mart that have

chosen to stop selling tobacco while we find it regrettable that others such as Sobeys

have chosen to go to great lengths to continue selling. Before the May 31 ban, there

were 92 Manitoba pharmacies or stores containing pharmacies selling tobacco, that

number will reduce by more than half as a result of the legislation.

Even with the pharmacy and vending machine bans, tobacco products continue to be

much more widely available in Manitoba than alcohol. There is 1 tobacco retailer for

every 104 smokers in the province compared to 1 alcohol retailer for every 390

persons who consume alcohol.

Reducing the number of locations where tobacco is sold is an important element

of MANTRA’s newly released Comprehensive Tobacco Control Strategy. Taking

action in this area has the benefits of lowering cigarette consumption, de-normalizing

tobacco use and enhancing enforcement efforts at remaining outlets.

MANTRA recommends further reducing the number of outlet locations using the

following methods:

1. Introduce annual retail license fees – In Manitoba, a license to sell tobacco costs

nothing and never has to be renewed, this is in stark contrast to alcohol license

fees which are costly and have to be renewed annually. The number of tobacco

licenses issued should be capped.

2. Establish tobacco free zones around educational facilities and hospitals. Work

with colleges and universities to ban tobacco sale on campus.

Founded as a non profit in 2002, MANTRA functions as a catalyst and coordinator

for tobacco reduction activities in Manitoba. Our vision is to eliminate tobacco use

for a healthier Manitoba.

For more information please contact:

MANTRA – 204.784.7030

wcooke@mantrainc.ca

www.mantrainc.ca

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