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Quebec has no timeline for limiting the sale of tobacco and vaping products


Quebec's health minister says he wants to "persevere" against the distribution of vaping products, but the ministry confirms it still has no timeline for limiting the sale of such merchandise to the public.

Reporting from Le Devoir found it's easy for Quebec youth to obtain vaping cartridges exceeding the legal dose of nicotine.

When pressed about this issue at the national assembly Thursday, Health Minister Christian Dubé called the situation "unacceptable."

He said the government would "require distributors to respect the law."

The Quebec government does not know how many tobacco and vaping distributors there are, let alone who they are and where they are located.

As it stands, the law requires no specific permit to retail tobacco or vaping products.

The Health Ministry (MSSS) told The Canadian Press there's currently no timeline to roll out a system.

"The implementation of a system of permits or priced licenses for the sale of tobacco and vaping products has indeed been identified among the measures aimed at reducing smoking in Quebec. No timetable has been specified for the moment," reads an email from the MSSS.

A 2020 report commissioned by the Quebec government proposed introducing a permit and "[reducing] the density of sales outlets [...] near educational institutions."

These same solutions are also included in a document from the MSSS outlining its 2020-2025 strategy for a "tobacco-free Quebec."

The document is meant to guide the government in the fight against smoking and vaping.

"Such a system would allow for an updated register of the points of sale, which would be used to regulate the density and the location of the points of sale, and which would eventually allow reduction of the number the authorized retailers," it reads.

Enrico Ciccone, the Official Opposition critic for healthy living, says he's disappointed by the Coalition Avenir Québec government's reluctance to act.  

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Feb. 3, 2023. Top Stories

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