HALIFAX – A provincial court ruled Wednesday in favour of Nova Scotia's tobacco legislation in the court case between the province and Maders Tobacco Shop.
In July 2009, Maders Tobacco Shop in Kentville was charged for failing to comply with storage and display requirements under the Tobacco Access Act. In August 2010, the court supported the vendor's claim that the act infringed on his right to freedom of expression.
The court ruling supports the province's claim that this infringement is necessary for the public good.
"We are pleased with the outcome of this case, because in Nova Scotia, we are focused on reducing smoking rates and improving the health of Nova Scotians," said Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson. "We know that the best way to reduce and prevent tobacco use is through a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach and one of these tools is restricting point of sale advertising."
The Tobacco Access Act prohibits Nova Scotia's 1,200 vendors from advertising and prominently displaying tobacco products behind store counters. The legislation is critical in protecting the health and safety of young people, non-smokers, and smokers who want to quit.
Since 2001, Nova Scotia's smoking rates have dropped from 30 per cent to 18 per cent. Smoking rates for youth, once the highest in Canada, are now at an all-time low of 12 per cent.