Lure of the puff

Published: Tuesday 15 July 2008

It's okay to have women making suggestive gestures at you from the covers of a porn magazine in Canada's stores. But it is not okay to have a cigarette packet luring you from the shop shelf to take a puff. Shop owners in Ontario, Quebec and a few other provinces must now hide tobacco products from their customers under rules that will cover most of Canada by year-end. Canada is going all out to stamp out smoking by young people.

Cigarettes, which typically enjoyed prime placement behind the cash register, must now be stored in drawers or behind grey wall coverings that cost as much as us $980), leaving some fuming over the cost, inconvenience, and hypocrisy. "It's a pain in the ass, and a double-standard that the government supports liquor sales," said a Toronto shop owner who did not want to be named, but who noted children too young to buy pornography are still free to eye the plastic-covered magazines, which are only partly hidden by their shelving.

"Pornography, with all its faults and deficits, won't kill you," said Michael Perley, director of the Ontario Campaign.

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