Quebec Shisha Smoking Cafes Risk Fines
The owners of recently opened café in Ste. Anne de Bellevue offering to its clients non-tobacco shisha hope that the current Quebec Court ruling will assure that they won’t be affected by any fines.
The Café Barcode offers shisha, also known as hookah tobacco that is smoked using water pipe. Instead of a tobacco product, it gives a fruit-based molasses to be smoked. “Our hookah tobacco is 100% natural product – not tar or nicotine. It is not a smoking place. You can’t light up cigarettes or cigars, it is our rule. We have only fresh fruit brought in molasses. So all our clients enjoy flavor, and that is what they mostly like. With a charcoal, our shisha burns at a low rhythm, molasses burn slowly and smokers receive a pleasant smoking experience,” stated the owner of establishment Arif Ismael. “People smoke shisha mostly for the flavor and not for the tobacco,” he added.
Non-tobacco shisha was added to the banned products list under the Quebec’s Tobacco Act in 2008. “Shisha shouldn’t be considered as tobacco as the ones we offer do not possess tobacco,” Mr. Ismael said. In conformity with the Quebec’s Tobacco Act, approximately 30 cafes and other establishments were offered grandfather clause to permit indoor cigar or pipe, but not cigarette use before new regulations hit about six years ago. Also, as the act states any smoking product that doesn’t poses tobacco but is supposed to be smoked, as for instance tobacco-free shisha is banned. “All products that you light up are regulated by the Tobacco Act. Shisha, whether or not possesses tobacco, and thus it falls under smoking. So, its regulated like a regular cigarette,” state a Denis Lecours, a smoking expert.
Despite the fact that a great number of establishments offering tobacco products of a certain kind in Montreal have been visited by tobacco experts within several years, not all are known to them. Fines range from $400 and $10,000 for second infringement respectively. As about those customers, who smoke in cafes not recognized by the officials could face fines from around $50 up to $600. At the same time, Health Canada, which monitors the production, sale and advertisement of tobacco products but not its consumption, has no plans to spread labeling requirements stated representative Olivia Caron.By Robert Smith, Staff Writer Copyright © 2012 CigarettesPub.net All rights reserved.