New anti-smoking law passes unanimously in National Assembly

The free ride for users of e-cigarettes — or vapers — has come to an end.

Bill 44, the first update to the Quebec’s tobacco regulations in a decade, was passed unanimously in the National Assembly.

Under the terms of the law, electronic cigarettes are now subject to the same restrictions — including restrictions on advertising — as regular cigarettes.

Hotels will also have to restrict the number of its smoking rooms to 20 per cent, and shopowners will now have to ask for ID from anyone buying tobacco products — or face stiff fines.

Further restrictions will take effect next May — the sale menthol and flavored cigarettes, smoking on outdoor patios, smoking in cars with children under 16, and smoking in play areas and sports fields will all be banned.

By next November, smokers will not only have to stay nine metres away from building entrances, but nine metres away from windows as well. And warnings on cigarette packs will also be made larger.

“The bill passed today includes ambitious measures that will enable Quebec to take its place as a world leader in the fight against smoking,” Lucie Charlebois, the minister in charge of public health said in a statement. “The legislative changes send a clear message and confirm the importance of this fight not only by strengthening measures which support the fight, but also by adapting it to today’s context.”

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