Nunavut Tobacco Enforcement Program

Nunavut Tobacco Enforcement Program

Nunavut Tobacco Enforcement Program

The Tobacco Enforcement program was created and implemented in 2015 as a measure to ensure that all tobacco retailers in Nunavut are in compliance with the Nunavut Tobacco Control Act (TCA) and its regulations. The enforcement program is being implemented using a progressive enforcement model which involves two phases. 

Phase I – Education & outreach: All tobacco retailers with a Tobacco Retailer Permit through the Department of Finance will receive an education and outreach visit from a Tobacco Inspector starting in November 2015. During the visit, retailers will receive a Tobacco Retailer Toolkit and orientation about what is required to be in compliance with the TCA; this involves posting mandated signage, having a store tobacco policy, and training and monitoring employees who sell tobacco. 

Phase 2 – Tobacco Inspections: Formalized tobacco inspections will begin once education & outreach has been completed. Inspections are planned to begin in April 2016. The purpose of tobacco inspections is to ensure that tobacco retailers and their employees are in compliance with the TCA. This includes making sure that: 

  • Employees are checking ID and not selling tobacco to people younger than 19.
  • The store has a tobacco policy
  • All employees receive training before selling tobacco
  • Retailers monitor their employees
  • Proper signage is in place

The enforcement approach aims to provide education, resources, and support to help tobacco retailers understand their obligations under the law and to ensure that youth under 19 are not able to purchase tobacco. This effort will give strength to the upcoming social source campaign that will focus on teaching family, friends, and the public not to give or sell tobacco to youth under 19. 

Nunavut Tobacco Compliance Program Consultations

Close to 300 Nunavummiut participated in our tobacco enforcement program consultations that occurred January 27 - February 18, 2015. These consultations included elders, youth, young adults, hamlet leaders, health representatives, and tobacco retailers. The consultations were held in Iqaluit, Cambridge Bay, Arviat and Rankin Inlet, with the goal of seeking advice on the development of a Tobacco Enforcement Program.  From these discussions, several key points emerged, emphasizing the need to:

  • Prevent tobacco sales to minors (under 19 years old);
  • Develop a campaign to inform Nunavummiut that it is illegal to sell or give tobacco to minors
  • Enforcing no smoking within 3 meters of the entrances/exits to public buildings and 15 meters of the entrances/exits to schools.

The information received from the community consultations helped strengthen the development of the Nunavut Tobacco Enforcement Program.

The Tobacco Retailer Toolkit

The Tobacco Retailer Toolkit is a practical guide to helping tobacco retailers understand their responsibilities under Nunavut’s law, the Tobacco Control Act. The toolkit tells retailers what they need to do in order to be compliant the law. This includes posting proper signage, as well as training and monitoring employees to make sure they are obeying the law. All tobacco retailers registered with the Department of Finance will receive a copy from a Tobacco Inspector who works in their region. The Tobacco Retailer Toolkit includes the following:

  • Facts about the Tobacco Control Act and its Regulations
  • Penalties for breaking the law
  • Acceptable forms of ID, and how to properly check ID
  • Strategies for how to refuse sales to youth under 19.
  • Mandated posters and display signage
  • Retailer Checklist
  • Employee Training Poster
  • Employee Letter of Agreement
  • Tobacco Reminder Log
  • Age Checker Stickers

Over 300 copies of the Tobacco Retailer Toolkit have been created and sent to Tobacco Inspectors in the Baffin, Kivalliq, and Kitikmeot regions. The Tobacco Retailer Toolkit and the accompanying resources are available for download by clicking on “Tobacco Retailer Toolkit & Resources” on the upper left menu. They are available in all 4 official languages.