Saskatchewan - stores mull options on tobacco law..

December 4, 2009 - The proposed new tobacco control legislation besides banning people from smoking in vehicles carrying kids under 16 will also prohibit cigarette sales in pharmacies. Many pharmacies have already quit selling tobacco products but the new law will also restrict large stores, such as grocery stores, that have pharmacies in one area and sell cigarettes in another. Saskatchewan Health Minister Don McMorris said such stores may still be able to sell tobacco but could be required to set up a separate area to do so. Those details will be set out in regulations that will accompany the law. Saskatchewan - a province in Canada..

Proposed anti-tobacco legislation received first reading in the Saskatchewan legislature on Wednesday, December 2nd..

A grocery chain and a pharmacy company say they're looking at pulling cigarettes from their shelves in light of a new law to crack down on tobacco sales. It would also put new restrictions on tobacco sales. If pharmacies and stores that have pharmacies inside — such as supermarkets — want to continue selling tobacco, they are going to have to build separate areas or kiosks, to which minors will not have access.

In response, some stores were saying Wednesday they would rather just stop selling tobacco altogether. John Graham, Canada Safeway's public affairs manager, said when similar legislation was introduced years ago in Ontario, Safeway decided to spend the money to revamp only two stores. In the rest, they pulled tobacco altogether, he said. "Kiosks, though we wouldn't rule them out, aren't most likely the path we would choose to take," Graham said.

Clint Mahlman, the senior vice-president of London Drugs, said his company won't be building kiosks either. He said the law won't help people quit smoking: people who can't get cigarettes at a drug store will get them elsewhere. On the other hand, a drug store is an appropriate place to sell tobacco, because it's where people can buy anti-smoking aids and receive advice from staff about them, Mahlman said.

"Targeting tobacco customers when they're purchasing tobacco is the most effective way to get our smoking cessation methods across to the tobacco user," he said. When a tobacco ban was implemented in Alberta earlier this year, London Drugs saw the sale of stop-smoking aids drop dramatically, he said.

Saskatchewan law currently prohibits smoking in workplaces and many public enclosed areas, including bars, restaurants and curling rinks.

The legislation, which could take effect in late 2010, will also prohibit tobacco use on school grounds and in enclosed common spaces of apartment buildings, and stop the sale of flavoured little cigars. Outdoor signs that advertise tobacco, such as the ones sometimes seen outside of gas stations, will no longer be allowed.The proposed law would also ban smoking on school grounds.

Reference: Stores mull options on tobacco law, CBC News, 12/3/2009.