Montreal

Quebec e-cigarette vendors frustrated by reality of new anti-tobacco law

Owners of vape shops in Quebec say the province’s changes to Quebec law that groups e-cigarettes in with tobacco is already hurting their business.

Changes to provincial law made vaping on patios and in enclosed public spaces illegal

Quebec's Act to bolster tobacco control was adopted at the end of November. (Ashley Smith/Times-News/AP)

Owners of vape shops in Quebec say the province's changes to the anti-tobacco law is already hurting their business.

Under the new law, which passed at the end of November, e-cigarettes are considered tobacco and fall under the same regulations.

That means the abundance of shops selling e-cigarettes and vaping liquid had to pull down all advertising from the walls and cover up their windows.

They're also no longer allowed to test the products inside the store.

"In my opinion, the young children are going see us vaping outside, instead of inside behind those frosted windows," said Daniel Marien, owner of the Vape Shop and board member of the Canadian Vaping Association.

Bill 44 restrictions

The changes to vaping came in with stricter tobacco regulations banning both smoking and vaping on terrasses.

The legislation, known as Bill 44, also placed greater restrictions on smoking in public spaces and sports fields used by children as well as more limits on advertising tobacco products and a ban on flavoured tobacco.

Vape Shop owner Daniel Marien said the change in the law means his customers must now go outside to test the products in his shop. (CBC)

By grouping e-cigarettes in with tobacco products, it's now also illegal to sell the liquid online.

Marien said he's supportive of the changes that limit use to adults only, but hopes the government considers relaxes some of the rules to allow vaping indoors at specialty shops.

The Canadian Vaping Association made a similar pitch to the legislative committee examining the bill in the summer.

However, a change is unlikely. A spokesperson for Quebec's minister of health promotion pointed out changes to the anti-tobacco law were adopted unanimously in the National Assembly.

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