Canadian Government to Retailers: Hide Tobacco Products

Ericka Jensen

TORONTO — Canadians looking to enjoy a pack of smokes along with their porn will soon be unable to locate their favorite tobacco products.

Retailers in Ontario, Quebec and a few other provinces must now hide tobacco products from their customers under new regulations that will cover most of Canada by the end of the year. The provincial governments want to discourage the smoking habit by "de-normalizing" the presence of cigarettes, which typically enjoy prime placement behind cash registers.

One unnamed Toronto shop owner expressed outraged that he will now have to hide his tobacco products while children too young to buy pornography will still be able to eye the plastic-covered magazines.

"It's a pain in the arse, and a double-standard that the government supports liquor sales," said the shop owner, referring to provincially owned liquor stores.

Advocates of the law say the seemingly draconian measure would eventually work and was too important to get bogged down by morality.

"Pornography, with all its faults and deficits, won't kill you," said Michael Perley, director of the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco, an anti-smoking lobby group. "Tobacco industry products kill one in two of their long-term users." Perley's group, backed by national cancer and medical associations, complains that the cigarette industry paid retailers to display their colorful products in prominent positions in retail stores.

“You can’t compare porn and cigarettes,” WebCamCash’s Derek “Dwreck” Smout, a Toronto resident who agrees with the measure told XBIZ. “Porn never gave anyone cancer.”

Canadian retailers have voiced complaints about the law saying it will confuse customers and sellers, and slow sales of their top product. But the provinces, which are responsible for managing Canada's publicly funded healthcare system, say they are trying to curb the country's number one cause of early death: cancer.