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Could New Tobacco Laws Be A Step Too Far?

If new, and even tighter, tobacco regulations are rolled out, one of Perth’s most niche stores could be forced out of business.

Currently, under section 23 of the Tobacco Products Control Act (2009), specialist tobacco retailers can display tobacco products, packages and implements within their premises.

The changes to the amendment would "limit and remove" this allowance for specialist retailers like Devlins.

The store’s owner, Simon Devlin, told Radio 6PR he only found out about the proposed restrictions after a call from one of his regulars - Liberal Democrat MLC Aaron Stonehouse.

"[He notified] me that there was a bill before parliament which was going to take away our specialist retailers clause, which allows us to display premium, hand-rolled cigars in our humidor," he said.

"When people come to purchase a cigar, they want to touch the cigar, they want to pick it up, they want to smell the cigar as well because cigars are all about palette, flavour and taste.

"[Under the proposed changes] everything will be under shutters and in lock boxes. You won't actually be able to have a look at a cigar until you've actually purchased it.

"I do not understand why a government would decide this is a good idea."

Health Minister Roger Cook said the changes would be phased out over a two-year period.

"Only a very small minority of tobacco retailers in WA are specialist tobacco retailers so this part of the amendment will not have widespread commercial impact,” he said.

“As Health Minister I will not shy away from an opportunity to save lives and prevent chronic illness, so I am committed to implementing these laws.”

- with WAtoday

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