Friday, June 26, 2015

Dartmouth Crossing Costco to Stop Selling Tobacco Products



Costco’s Dartmouth Crossing location has announced it is quitting tobacco products.

The store posted a notice to customers saying it will stop selling tobacco products after August 31.

The news is getting a mixed reaction from Costco customers, some of whom didn’t know the measure had been announced.

Costco declined to comment after its Dartmouth Crossing location announced it will no longer sell tobacco products.

“I didn't even know they had cigarettes, to tell you the truth,” said shopper Lewis MacDonald.

“I never did buy them with Costco anyways,” remarked shopper Colleen Boudreau.

The announcement is welcome news to the Nova Scotia Lung Association.

“Anything we can do to decrease the access to tobacco in this province is positive as far as the Lung Association is concerned,” said Louis Brill, the association’s CEO.

“The reason is irrelevant to me. It’s just the decrease in access,” he said.

Costco is not revealing the reason for the decision.

A spokesperson at Costco’s Ottawa headquarters declined to comment, saying the company does not do interviews.

In its notice to customers, the Dartmouth Crossing location did say it’s not quitting cold turkey.

Cigarette orders will still be available for pickup at Costco’s Bayers Lake store.

Jennifer Heatley, tobacco control co-ordinator with the province’s Department of Health and Wellness, says anything to reduce access to tobacco is a positive step.

“Reduced access and availability is a key contributor to reducing smoking,” Heatley said.

She said Nova Scotians have been finding reasons to quit.

“Right now we're at about 19 per cent smoking rate, which is down from around 30 per cent in 1999,” she said.

That puts Nova Scotia roughly in the middle of the pack nationally, she said.

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