The Quebec National Assembly unanimously adopted, on 26 November 2015, a “law to strengthen the fight against smoking”. Some measures have already come into effect, in particular some smoking and vaping bans. The implementation schedule is spreading out over one year.
Besides tightening measures towards tobacco, the new law severely treats the electronic cigarette (with or without nicotine) which is now considered a tobacco product, with its cohort of restrictions and prohibitions.
Its sale to minors is prohibited, advertising restricted and use prohibited where smoking is also prohibited. The government gave no exception. It is now prohibited to vape in the “vapoteries”, the shops dedicated to electronic cigarettes.
Listen to comments by Lucie Charlebois, Deputy Minister for Rehabilitation, the Youth Protection and Public Health, interviewed by Michel Lapointe on the francophone radio Outaouais 104,7FM:
“The vapers can try their products among them. There is no need to try it in the shop, its use simply needs to be well explained.”
We spoke with Jean-Philippe Boutin, alias Genfelip on social networks. It is a Quebecois vaper, passionate for this product that he says ”saves lives”. He is the editor of popular reviews on vaping products and works in a specialty store in Gatineau, near Ottawa.
Listen to comments by Genfelip in our French pages:
“Four years after quitting, I’m again a smoker in front of the law.”
“There is no way to let smokers test the electronic cigarette, e-liquids or test acustomer’s equipment if there is an issue.”
“The fines* are very high, there is no other choice than complying to the law.”
“The products will remain visible inside shops and presented to customers, unlike Ontario.”
“The vapers and professionals were surprised by the vaping ban in shops.”
“The law does not address the quality of vaping products and there is still no regulation on this subject.”
“We must keep fighting. Many “independent” petitions have emerged but will not be very efficient. It must be organized differently.”
- Advertising on electronic cigarettes subject to the same rules as those for tobacco
- A maximum of 20% of smoking rooms in hotels and hospitals
- Obligation to show a valid ID with a picture
- Increase of the price of fines for retailers
- Prohibition of associating tobacco brands to electronic cigarettes
- Ban of all flavors, including menthol, for all tobacco products – except for electronic cigarettes.
- No smoking in private vehicles in the presence of minors under 16 years.
- No smoking on children’s playgrounds (and within nine meters from the perimeter) and on sports fields (including the area of the spectators)
- No smoking on public terraces (bars and restaurants)
- No smoking on school grounds, child care centers, and other educational institutions at all times (not only the hours during which young people are there)
- Increase of the price of fines for various offenses under the Act. For example, anyone who smokes in a place where it is prohibited is now liable to a fine of $ 250 to $ 750.
- No smoking within 9 meters of any door of a public institution, and any air intake or window. (The law foresees shelters for smokers outside a radius of 9 meters of any door and any windows or air intake)
- Ban on rebates, discounts that tobacco industry offers to retailers for advertising or selling their tobacco products.
- The warnings on packages takes more space and is more visible. The new standards will make it illegal to sell the small stylized packets, very popular among young people.
* The first fine should cost about 25 000 Canadian dollars (TBC), or approximately € 35,000. For a second offense the fine may reach 125 000 Canadian dollars , about € 88,000.