Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New provincial restrictions on buying cigarettes

  • Print

The Selinger government plans to make it more difficult for smokers to buy their tobacco.

The NDP tabled a bill in the legislature Tuesday that would prohibit tobacco sales in stores that contain pharmacies, including drugstores and large retail outlets such as Safeway and Superstore.

Bill 17 would also prohibit tobacco sales in health-care facilities and through vending machines.

"What we're trying to do is promote health," said Healthy Living Minister Jim Rondeau. "We look at pharmacies as an institution that provides wellness and health and supports individuals. And smoking does not really equate into that picture."

He said research has also shown making it more difficult to buy tobacco products helps reduce the number of smokers and helps prevent youth from adopting the habit in the first place.

In 2004, Manitoba became the first province to introduce an indoor smoking ban. It also passed legislation to remove tobacco from display on store shelves. The province's tobacco taxes are now the second-highest in the country.

However, until now, it had not sought to ban the sale of tobacco in pharmacies, as Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta have done.

Murray Gibson, executive director of the Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance, called the proposed legislation "a very positive move." He said MANTRA has been advocating the measure since 2004.

"Government has the right and ability to mandate this. So we're pleased that they're doing that," he said.

Rondeau said the new law will affect some 106 retail outlets, mainly large chain stores.

He said the province will give them plenty of time to prepare for the change. He said very likely the new law will take effect on May 31, 2013 -- to coincide with World No Tobacco Day.

Rondeau said there are only 17 vending machines remaining in Manitoba that sell cigarettes. The government's concern with the machines is they're tough to supervise and regulate. "Nobody is watching who is buying cigarettes (from a machine)," the cabinet minister said.

John Graham, a Winnipeg spokesman for Canada Safeway, said the grocery chain is not surprised by the proposed legislation.

"In principle, Safeway supports government initiatives that reduce tobacco use and ultimately prevents citizens from taking up this activity," he said.

Graham said the chain has continued to sell tobacco in its stores as a convenience to smoking customers.

Roger Tam, a Winnipeg pharmacist with Walmart, said his company has never sold tobacco products in stores that contain pharmacies. And it has not sold tobacco in Canadian stores at all since its move north of the border in 1994.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 2, 2012 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Lindor Reynolds speaks candidly about life with terminal cancer

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE APORIUS/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS STANDUP - pretty sunflower in field off HWY 206 near Bird's Hill Park Thursday August 09/2007
  • The sun peers through the fog to illuminate a tree covered in hoar frost near Headingley, Manitoba Thursday- Standup photo- February 02, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Premier Greg Selinger resign?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google