A monkeys uncle

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For the first time in a long while the cigarette and liquor industries are going toe-to-toe, taking swipes offhandedly to pass blame on each other for influencing youth consumption of controlled commodities.
New Democrat MLA Joan Massy presented a private members bill in the Nova Scotia Legislature - hot on the heels of the debate flavored cigarillos were encouraging youth to pick up the habit - causing Luc Martial of Casa Cubana to fire back, stating if cigar companies are to concede they are targeting kids the government has to do the same. The cigar importer says the NSLC offers up the exact same flavours in alcohol - such as vanilla, cherry and chocolate.
The comparison, NSLC's Rick Perkins says, is silly and then took an elitist jab at Martial, saying the last time he checked cigarillos were sold by private retailers. In comparison, alcohol is sold by Nova Scotia's Crown Corporation.
Should the province ban fruit flavoured cigarillos, Martial is calling on the province to ban fruit flavoured alcohol, bringing an end to such appetizing - and allegedly youth-enticing - mixed drinks like the Monkey's Lunch, Blue Lagoon and Scooby Snack.
But at issue is neither cigars, cigarillos nor booze. It's youth who manage to get these products into their hands.
Frankly, a youth can enter either a liquor store or corner store - publicly or privately owned - and ask for the fruitiest controlled substance available and in both occasions should be met with the same response: "Can I see your ID please."
Do we really have to cut the menu in order to recognize that it's the waiter who is the problem?
While these two industries butt heads, MLA Massy should amend her private members bill to introduce harsher penalties for persons who help put tobacco and alcohol in the hands of minors instead of deciding what flavours people can choose because at the end of the day underage drinking and smoking didn't start with the invention of the banana flavoured cigar.
It started with the monkey who handed it over to the child.

Organizations: Crown

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Blue Lagoon

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