Flavoured tobacco ban now in effect on P.E.I.

Retailers across Prince Edward Island are no longer allowed to sell flavoured tobacco, thanks to a new law that took effect Monday.

The ban prohibits the sale of products like grape or peach flavoured chewing tobacco or cigarettes.

It's a move the Canadian Cancer Society on P.E.I. applauds because the products were considered more appealing to younger smokers. 

The society's executive director, Marlene Mulligan, said the next step is to lobby for a ​legal minimum smoking age. 

"There's about 300 municipalities in the U.S., including Hawaii and California illegal under 21...so I think that would be a good move." 

Mulligan said the cancer society is also lobbying the federal government for plain cigarette packaging and less accessible tobacco vape products.

Lost sales

Atlantic Convenience Stores Association president Mike Hammoud said the ban will likely lead to a reduction in sales for its members. 

He said flavoured tobacco represents about five per cent of total tobacco sales in the region and menthol products another five per cent. However, he doesn't expect the ban will lead to a significant loss in overall tobacco sales.

"People will move from typically purchasing a flavoured product to a regular tobacco product or some will move to buying product illegally and some may look at just not buying the product at all," said Hammoud.

P.E.I. is the sixth province in Canada to ban flavoured tobacco products. 

Imperial Tobacco Canada has launched lawsuits challenging such legislation in other provinces, including New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The company said in a statement Monday it was still determining its "course of action" with regard to P.E.I.'s new law.

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