Marco Polo Land, two other retailers caught selling tobacco to minors

Dave Stewart
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Campground will lose its tobacco licence for seven days during the upcoming season

elling tobacco to minors has landed three retailers in some hot water with provincial health inspectors.

Selling tobacco to minors has landed three retailers in some hot water with provincial health inspectors.

Marco Polo Land will have its tobacco licence suspended for seven days during the 2014 camping season while another two retailers have also been nabbed for selling tobacco to minors.

Those retailers will be identified later this month once due process takes place.

Ryan Neale, senior environmental health officer, said he conducted a number of compliance checks on Aug. 15, 2013. That's where they send what is called a "youth test shopper'' in to attempt to buy a tobacco product.

In the case of Marco Polo Land, the youth test shopper was successful and was able to purchase tobacco as a minor.

"As a result, we issued a summary offence ticket and that ticket was subsequently paid by the operator (at Marco Polo Land),'' Neale said.

"Once that happens, which it did, we then contact the Department of Finance to advise them that there had been a violation of our tobacco legislation, which is in fact also a violation of their legislation. The next step is for them to contact the retailer to advise of a suspension regarding their licence.''

Retailers do have the option, when a summary offence ticket is issued, to plead not guilty and take the matter to court.

Neale said in Marco Polo's case while actual offence took place Aug. 15 the summary ticket was not issued until later, towards the end of the campground's season. That is why the suspension will occur during a week in the upcoming season.

Neale said his department conducted another round of compliance checks on Nov. 8 in which two retailers were flagged for selling tobacco to minors.

"We're still working through that process so at this point we're not prepared to release that information.''

Meanwhile, Tignish Community Inclusion on Haywood Road in Tignish was flagged in December for failing to renew its licence and a warning letter was issued.

"They were operating without a valid approval certificate. They really just had overlooked the need to reapply for their licence back in April.''

Environmental health inspectors use a graduated system of enforcement  warning letters, notice of intent to issue a health order and an actual health order, the latter of which requires the business owner to take immediate action.

Organizations: Marco Polo, Department of Finance

Geographic location: Haywood Road, Tignish

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Recent comments

  • Piet Hein
    January 19, 2014 - 10:50

    Don, the 19-year-olds you speak of are legally buying booze. I guess you don't know the legal drinking age on P.E.I is 19.

  • Foolish
    January 19, 2014 - 08:32

    This whole thing of ADULT is foolish . If the age of being a adult is 21 , then they shouldn't have a vote or have to pay taxes on their income until then . If you are classed as a adult in one phase of life , it should apply in all area's , not just the ones to get yourself elected .

  • don
    January 19, 2014 - 04:16

    i never see the booze stores in the papers selling booze to underage kids. but we hear of kids 19 yrs old drunk driving where are they getting the booze?

    • Smart ass
      January 19, 2014 - 11:33

      Probably the booze store cause they are legal to buy it!

  • Minor
    January 18, 2014 - 16:46

    This is why you only sell them to the people that you know ! As a minor who quit smoking, it's no harder to get a bag of chips than it is a pack of smokes .

  • Bob MacDonald
    January 18, 2014 - 14:58

    The government should actually do the reverse of what they did a few years ago. Take cigarettes out of convenience stores and ONLY sell them in pharmacies. Of course as usual with tobacco, decisions are not really made for the benefit of society but rather to protect profits. In this case for convenience stores.

    • Patrick
      January 18, 2014 - 20:14

      Correct, no one as hypocritical as the government, Provincially !