Out of sight, out of mind? Tougher rules for tobacco sales land in N.L.

New legislation restricting the sale of flavoured tobacco, shisha and e-cigarettes in now in effect in Newfoundland and Labrador, prompting cheers from one local advocate group.

Changes to the Tobacco Control Act hit Newfoundland and Labrador July 1

Vaporizers on display at Vapor XS in St. John's. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

New legislation restricting the sale of flavoured tobacco, shisha and e-cigarettes is now in effect in this province, prompting cheers from one local advocate group. 

"This is just another step to help improve the health of the people of our province," said Kevin Coady of the Newfoundland and Labrador Alliance for Control of Tobacco.

His hopes for this new legislation? 

"Rates will be well down, young people won't be starting, and new smokers will not be on the rise," said Coady.

Kevin Coady is the executive director of the Alliance for Control of Tobacco. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

A complete list of the changes now in effect:

  • Prohibition on the sale of flavoured tobacco, including menthol cigarettes
  • ​Prohibition on the sale of e-cigarettes and non-tobacco shisha from places where tobacco sales are currently prohibited
  • Restrictions on the display and promotion of e-cigarettes and non-tobacco shisha at retail stores in the same manner as tobacco products are currently regulated
  • Prohibition of hookah smoking of non-tobacco shisha in indoor public places and workplaces, including any existing hookah establishment.

The provincial government is also hoping to see results from the new regulations.

Sherry Gambin-Walsh, the minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development, said the tougher measures are to protect youth from nicotine addictions, "while allowing adult smokers to legally access vaping products."

To enter a vaporizing store, customers must be at least 19 years of age. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

Businesses affected 

Last month, the provincial government sent out information packages on the legislation and changes required by store owners.

I found it very difficult to understand what they were saying.- Jackie Moore

Vapor XS owner Jackie Moore said when she received her letter, she had questions and contacted the department that sent the letter.

Moore said it took a month, but they finally got back to her — 24 hours before she needed to make the changes.

"I found it very difficult to understand what they were saying. So I called and left messages, but nobody got back to me until [last Friday]," she said.

Jackie Moore owns Vapor XS in St. John's. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

Moore, whose business is located in Mount Pearl, found out that she had to tint her store's windows.

It will be costly, but her biggest fear was that she wouldn't be able to get the windows tinted in a day.

"Luckily, I did get a hold of a local tinting company who is coming in," she said.

Last day for hookah lounge was June 30

Six years ago, Moore was 30 years into a nicotine addiction. She tried gums and patches, but said that once she picked up a vaporizer she "never inhaled smoke again."

Moore says her business helps people quit smoking.

Though vaporizing stores will still be able to operate under the new legislation, hookah lounges will not.

The last day of businesses for Aladdin's Hookah Lounge, the only hookah lounge in Newfoundland and Labrador, was June 30.