Reminder / Tobacco Sales Act amendments in effect Jan. 1, 2009 (08/12/19)

NB 1856

Dec. 19, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswickers are reminded that a ban on point-of-sale displays of cigarettes and the advertising of tobacco products will be in effect Jan. 1, 2009.

The upcoming restrictions are the result of amendments to the Tobacco Sales Act that Minister of Health Michael Murphy introduced in March.

"This ban will help more New Brunswickers to be non-smokers and lead healthier lifestyles by keeping these harmful tobacco products out of sight," Murphy said. "These results will reduce the demands on our health-care system and promote its sustainability during New Brunswick's journey to self-sufficiency and beyond."

The ban will apply to point-of-sale advertising for tobacco products in all retail stores except specialty tobacco stores. Point-of-sale tobacco advertising is usually in the form of large racks or displays of tobacco products and signs, which are sometimes referred to as powerwalls.

The ban will also apply to displays of tobacco products inside stores, and advertising of tobacco products outside. Cigarettes and other tobacco products will have to be kept out of customers' sight.

The amendments will create a new category of business, known as a tobacconist shop. Such shops will be allowed to display products and advertise them inside and outside their premises. People under the age of 19 will not be permitted to enter these specialty stores unless accompanied by an adult.

The amendments will also make related violations of the Tobacco Sales Act a Category E offence under the Provincial Offences Procedure Act. Anyone who violates the new rules will be subject to a fine of between $240 and $2,620 for a first offence. A second offence may result in a fine of up to $5,120, and up to 30 days in jail.

Murphy encourages all New Brunswickers to be non-smokers, and to report any infraction of the Tobacco Sales Act to the Department of Health.


MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Cumby, communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3522.