Police of tobacco: a smoker on four pinched

News 8 August, 2017
  • Photo Jean-François Desgagnés
    Germain A. Cyr complies with the Law in front of the hospital, and, even if this regulation the mind.

    Nicolas Lachance

    Tuesday, 8th August 2017 00:00

    Tuesday, 8th August 2017 00:00

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    In just seven months, the police of the tobacco of the ministry of Health has handed over 403 tickets to smokers who have grilled a cigarette within nine metres of the door of a building, learned about The Newspaper.

    From 26 November 2016, being the date of entry into force of the law that requires smokers to stand away from buildings, thirty agents of the ministry of Health has been 1545 inspections.

    Thus, once the four when an inspector comes, the smokers are in violation.

    This is confirmed by the data of the ministry of Health and social Services obtained by The Newspaper.

    These figures are probably higher, because a municipality may appoint its municipal police to enforce the Law on the fight against smoking on its territory.

    “It is always too much. We can always do better. The situation could be corrected “, has admitted Flory Doucas, spokesperson for the quebec Coalition for tobacco control. “For the nine-metres, I think it is more difficult “.

    It is in front of the hospitals, the malls and the colleges that the people respect the least the Law against tobacco.

    In total, 66 findings were issued to health facilities on the 403 distributed. “These are places that require more vigilance,” said the spokesperson.


    In regards to the ban on smoking on the terraces since may 26, 2016, the message seems to be better assimilated in the population and among the tenants of the bar.

    “Before the Law, we had a lot of complaints compared to the terraces of restaurant and bar. Now, this is rare, ” said Ms. Doucas, arguing that this aspect of the regulation is respected since its inception.

    Thus, and despite the high number of offences before the doors of the buildings, Ms. Doucas considers that the Act met its target.

    “The purpose of the Act was to reduce second-hand smoke to non-smokers. In my view, the Law achieved its purpose, “she pointed out, admitting that the situation” could be improved “and that one of the tracks is” increase the inspections “.

    Smoking in the blur

    In addition, The Journal went to meet of smokers at the entrances of the hospitals to take the pulse. Most of the people surveyed complied with the Law.

    “I always respects the Law. It does not tempt me very much, but you don’t have a choice, ” said Germain A. Cyr, who was smoking outside the Mother-Child Centre in Quebec city.

    Also, in the hospital, security officers warn frequently the smokers to adhere to the areas which are clearly identified on the ground and on posters. Employees of the CHUL told the Newspaper that many smokers do not seem to know the new regulations.

    “People don’t know it. I often have to warn them that they are not in the area, ” added Richard Belleau, who needs to vape at nine metres of the entrance also.
    Data of the MSSS

    9 metres of the doors

    • Number of inspection visits : 1545
    • Number of tickets : 403

    Ban smoking on the terraces commercial

    • Number of inspection visits : 2031
    • Number of tickets : 127

    Playground for children

    • Number of inspections : 29
    • Number of observations : 0

    As of June 30,

    Not enough inspectors, according to the Coalition against tobacco

    The lack of an inspector on the ground is disparaged by the quebec Coalition for tobacco control (CQCT) which is campaigning for the tobacco companies pay for this labour.

    For one year, it is forbidden to smoke in the play areas for children, such as public parks. However, according to the figure collected by The Newspaper, only 29 inspectors have visited these places in the last 12 months, and this, without any result, because the inspectors have not been given tickets.

    The CQCT indicates that there is an obvious lack of inspectors on the ground. And she also argues that it is unfortunately, most of the time, complaints from the public that led the police to the tobacco to move on the premises in the hope of giving an offence.

    “We are very aware that the level of inspection that could be better. The inspection team at the ministry of Health, this is a very small team, ” explained Flory Doucas, spokesperson for the CQCT.

    “I’m not surprised to see the number of really very low in playgrounds and sports fields. If people complain, even if they send an inspector a few hours later it does not mean that we will find the persons at fault, ” said Ms. Doucas.

    Companies pay

    The coalition also stresses that it should not be the taxpayers who pay for the lack of inspectors, but the tobacco companies.

    “It is the tobacco industry should pay for this service, even the manufacturing licences and the licence of tobacco “, she believes.