News Release Archive

  New regulations to strengthen and complement the province's
  Tobacco Access Act have been approved, Health Minister Ron
  Stewart said today.
  The regulations, which support the access act, cover areas
  such as signage, inspection, the issuing of fines, vendor
  compliance and requirements for proof of age.
  "Smoking among youth is a serious health problem," said Dr.
  Stewart. "The regulations are a very important step towards
  reducing youth tobacco use in this province."
  Signage will be required in at least three locations in each
  retail outlet. Signs will be distributed to retailers across
  the province over the next few weeks. One sign, a door
  decal, is to be displayed on the front entrance to the
  store. A second sign, to be displayed at the cash register,
  will outline the acceptable identification required to
  purchase tobacco. Some examples of identification are: Nova
  Scotia photo driver's licence, Nova Scotia Liquor Commission
  proof of age card and a Canadian passport.
  The third sign, a large health warning sign, will be located
  in the centre of tobacco displays typically found behind
  check out counters. The size of this sign is proportional to
  the size of the display. The following message will be
  printed on the sign: "Tobacco contains an ADDICTIVE DRUG &
  kills 1,400 Nova Scotians each year - more deaths than
  accidents, alcohol, AIDS, homicides and suicides combined."
  To ensure vendor compliance with the new regulations, youths
  under the age of 19 (with the consent of a parent or
  guardian) may be sent into stores selling tobacco products
  to attempt test purchases.
  As well, the regulations provide a further framework for 
  tobacco inspectors to carry out a comprehensive enforcement
  program. The inspectors may visit retail premises, conduct
  an inspection, ensure proper signage compliance, issue
  warnings and lay charges. Retailers may face fines of up to
  $10,000, and a prohibition on selling tobacco products for
  up to two years for selling to minors, as outlined under the
  Tobacco Access Act.
  Copies of the regulations and a brief explanation of
  retailer responsibilities are being mailed to retailers this
  week. A more detailed retailers guide outlining the
  responsibilities of retailers under the act will be
  distributed with the signs. Retailers are expected to comply
  with the signage requirements effective March 1, 1996.
  Tobacco use is a very serious public health problem in Nova
  Scotia, the minister said. Treating smoking-related diseases
  is estimated to cost $65 million per year (hospital costs,
  physician costs, Home Care). He said in 1994, about 1,400
  Nova Scotians died as a direct result of smoking, and 
  between 80 to 100 non-smoking Nova Scotians die every year
  due to exposure to second-hand smoke.
  EDITORS NOTE: Dr. Stewart is available to answer questions
  at 3:30 p.m. today.
  Contact: Lori MacLean  902-424-5025
  trp                         Jan. 16, 1996