Tobacco display compliance high
Almost all area retailers are obeying Ontario's new tobacco display legislations, Thunder Bay District Health Unit officials report.
Since May 31, the Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits retailers from openly displaying tobacco products.
As of Saturday, no charges have been laid under the act, and inspections show a 99.9 per cent compliance, health unit tobacco control manager Ken Ranta said Monday.
"We are very pleased with the way tobacco retailers have accepted this new legislation," Ranta said.
But he high rate of compliance doesn't mean tobacco products remain unseen everywhere in Ontario.
The act includes exemptions for pure tobacconists, who depend on tobacco products for the majority of their livelihoods and who generally sell products with less appeal for youths.
Retailers with inventories consisting of at least 50 per cent non-cigarette tobacco products can register as tobacconists and be exempt from the act.
Thunder Bay's Al Magdee, who runs Rollies Cuban Cigar Store, applied for his exemption more than two years ago, and received it. It's "the only registered tobacconist in Northwestern Ontario,'' said Ranta.
Magdee said the fact that he doesn't sell cigarettes was a major factor in his getting the exemption.
"I don't sell cigarettes at all – every tobacco product I sell is not related to a cigarette," he said.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act is designed to prevent young people from starting to smoke, to help smokers quit and to protect the public from second-hand smoke, said the health unit.
Source: The Chronicle Journal