By Nancy Kelly
Day two of Bob Gee’s constitutional challenge of Nova Scotia’s tobacco retail display policies featured testimony by an expert witness called by the crown.
Gee, owner/operator of Mader's Tobacco Store in Kentville, was charged in 2009 with violating Nova Scotia’s Tobacco Storage Act by improperly storing tobacco products in his store. He is fighting the provincial regulations, which he contends are detrimental to the livelihood of his business.
Dr. Timothy Dewhirst, an expert in the marketing of tobacco products, explained Nova Scotia’s tobacco display ban needs to be upheld to combat the intense marketing efforts of tobacco producers and because tobacco is “an inherently harmful product.”
“How harmful and how addictive it is, that is what sets it apart from other products,” in a retail setting, said Dewhirst, an Associate Professor of Marketing and Consumer Studies at the University of Guelph.
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During a recess from the proceedings, Gee, who attended court with his son Jeff, dismissed Dewhirst’s testimony, noting it did not address the root of his challenge.
“The issue is about my small business not about big tobacco companies, which his testimony was all about,” Gee said.
Trial testimony resumes Thursday, Dec. 6.