By David Klassen
Manitoba’s ban of flavoured tobacco products is coming under fire by a Montreal-based cigar importer.
The province on Wednesday introduced Bill 52 — legislation that would prohibit the sale of flavoured cigars and cigarettes in an effort to protect children.
Casa Cubana says the legislation is “grossly misleading, bordering on the fraudulent and tantamount to an outright lie.”
“With Bill 52, the Minister (Sharon Blady, Minister of Healthy Living and Seniors) is essentially finger-pointing the more than 1,500 legitimate business owners across the province who responsibly sell these legitimate products — as people who target, depend on and profit from the sale of tobacco products to kids,” said Luc Martial, VP of government affairs at Casa Cubana.
On the other end of the legislation, the Western Convenience Stores Association (WCSA) has come out in support of the government’s move, commending the provincial NDP for keeping tobacco out of the hands of youth.
The WSCA hopes future legislation will be introduced to also prevent the growth of the illegal tobacco market within the province.
“Efforts to prevent the emergence of an uncontrolled market in banned products will be a critical part of any effective solution to support our shared goal of reduced youth tobacco consumption,” said Andrew Klukas, president of the WCSA