May 31 is D-Day for tobacco in Nunavik


Next May, Nunavik will see new rules and regulations on tobacco sales and smoking.

A strict new provincial tobacco law was passed last week when the National Assembly wrapped up its spring session in Quebec City last week.

“It’s been shown that legislation can be very effective in the fight against smoking and in improving public health as a result. But it’s also been apparent that making the law more strict is necessary to bring the percentage of smokers in our population down even more,” said Philippe Couillard, the provincial minister of health and social services.

On May 31, 2006, it will become illegal to smoke in most enclosed places, including bingo halls and bars. As well, smoking areas in restaurants or shopping malls will no longer be permitted.

Smoking rooms in workplaces will be eliminated in May 2008.

The changes in Quebec’s tobacco law are also intended to prevent youth smoking.

In September 2006, there will be no more smoking allowed on the premises of a daycare centre or school when these institutions are open to children or students.

And it will be illegal under any circumstances to sell tobacco to a minor, with the new law calling for stricter punishments for any breaches of the regulations. The law also cuts access to tobacco products and promotion of tobacco products.

Cigarette vending machines will be prohibited, and, as of May 2008, there will be a total ban on any tobacco displays, with few exceptions.

As of next year, it will also be against the law to sell tobacco in a restaurant, bar or any place where there are sports, cultural, artistic and recreational activities.

“Our government is taking this action on behalf our collective and individual health. There’s no doubt that the measures taken today will have beneficial impacts,” Couillard said.

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