The Nova Scotia government has tabled amendments to the Tobacco Access Act that will ban almost all flavoured tobacco products. Mike Hammoud, president of the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association, says that there is no basis in reality for doing this.
“The big issue was the candy-flavoured tobacco products that were clearly targeting minors,” says Hammoud. “But then they take a sledgehammer to the issue and ban virtually everything that is flavoured, including menthol.”
“There is no evidence-based scientific research that supports such broad-based action,” says Hammoud. “And many of the products that will be banned are of negligible interest to youth.”
“Worst of all, the government is doing nothing to control flavoured, nicotine-based juices for electronic cigarettes because that would result in too much public backlash. The government says that their concern is the health of minors, but it seems that that doesn’t apply to the use of e-cigarettes.”
“The government’s mind seems to be made up,” says Hammoud. “Unfortunately the government will look weak if they make any changes to the products that are banned, so this is likely a done deal.”
The current amendments call for the flavoured tobacco product bans to take effect on May 31. The ACSA feels that this is an unreasonable amount of notice for wholesalers and retailers and will be arguing for a longer phase-in period.