News Release Archive

  Nova Scotia's new Tobacco Inspectors have visited more than
  800 retailers since joining the Department of Health's
  Tobacco Control Unit in October and have warned about 400
  retailers who are not complying with provincial and federal
  So far, 50 per cent of retailers province-wide are complying
  with the provincial Tobacco Access Act, aimed at restricting
  the sale of tobacco to youth under 19 years of age. There
  are approximately 2,700 tobacco retailers in Nova Scotia.
  "The inspectors have made a great deal of progress over the
  past four months," said Health Minister Ron Stewart. "They
  are playing a key role in our overall goal to significantly
  reduce youth tobacco use in this province."
  The majority of retailers being warned are not displaying
  the correct signage in their store as outlined in the
  federal Tobacco Sales to Young Persons Act. Starting March
  1, the inspectors will check to ensure retailers are
  following the new provincial signage regulations announced
  earlier this week.
  The federal act prohibits tobacco sales to teens under 18
  years of age. The provincial act restricts sales to teens
  under 19 years of age.
  Retailers will be charged if they sell tobacco products to
  minors. "The department is serious about ensuring compliance
  and reducing tobacco use among youth," said Merv Ungurain,
  Director, Tobacco Control Unit.
  Additional retail offences include selling single cigarettes
  and/or cigarette packages with less than 20 cigarettes,
  vending machines and self-service tobacco displays on the
  premises and the absence of a vendor's permit.
  Educating retailers is a key mandate for the inspectors. It
  is important for retailers to clearly understand the
  regulations so they can be enforced properly, said Mr.
  "The overall response from the retailers has been very
  positive. The majority of them are cooperative and support
  our initiatives," said Mr. Ungurain. The inspectors are
  checking with all tobacco retailers including gas stations,
  restaurants, bars and convenience stores.
  If the retailers are not complying with the regulations they
  will be issued a verbal and written warning. They will have
  10 days to rectify the situation. The inspectors will also
  investigate any complaint made against a retailer. A warning
  will be issued and compliance checks made. Charges will be
  laid if the retailer does not comply.
  The new regulations introduced earlier this week will help
  the tobacco inspectors to implement a comprehensive
  enforcement program. The regulations involve signage,
  inspection, the issuing of fines, vendor compliance and
  requirements for proof of age.
  EDITORS NOTE: Elizabeth McCulloch, a Tobacco Inspector with
  the department's Tobacco Control Unit, will be available for
  interviews after 3 p.m. today. Inspection figures for health
  regions are available by calling 902-424-4492.
  Contact: Lori MacLean  902-424-5025
  trp                      Jan. 18, 1996 - 3:25 p.m.