Leo Levasseur posed with one of his signs while demonstrating outside the London Drugs on Quadra Street in August. (Photo courtesy Leo Levasseur)

Saanich resident plans another protest against cigarettes in B.C. drugstores

The demonstration will take place in front of the B.C. Legislature on Monday

Leo Levasseur, a Saanich resident leading the crusade against cigarettes being sold in B.C. drugstores, is planning another protest and a letter-writing campaign.

Levasseur is inviting the public to join him at a demonstration in front of the B.C. Legislature on Monday, Oct. 7 to protest the fact that B.C. is the only province that still allows drugstores to sell tobacco products.

All are welcome to bring their signs and join the demonstration, he said.

Levasseur, who runs several anti-smoking Facebook groups with over 10,000 followers combined, has been fighting to have tobacco products removed from drugstores for a long time. He feels it’s hypocritical for drugstores to sell cigarettes while also offering smoking cessation programs funded by the B.C. government.

READ ALSO: Saanich resident leads crusade against cigarettes in B.C. drugstores

“I don’t want my tax dollars to go to a drugstore that’s playing for both teams,” said Levasseur after a protest outside London Drugs on Quadra Street in August.

The demonstration will be followed by a letter-writing campaign. Levasseur and his fellow protesters will be contacting the Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, and suggesting three possible actions to take: take cigarettes out of B.C. drug stores, remove the smoking cessation program from the drugstores that sell cigarettes or turn all drugstores that sell cigarettes into safe injection sites to support safety of all drug users.

Levasseur has been in contact with the Ministry of Health before. In August, Matt Herman, a representative from the ministry, explained that while the province doesn’t allow pharmacies to display or promote tobacco sales, it’s B.C.’s policy to let drug stores decide to stop selling cigarettes.

READ ALSO: Victoria resident pushes for 100% no-smoking bylaws in multi-unit housing

London Drugs is one of the drugstores in B.C. that chooses to sell cigarettes. Clint Mahlman, London Drugs president and chief operating officer, explained that the company feels the best way to help people stop smoking is to offer smoking cessation while they’re buying cigarettes. he worries that if drugstores stopped selling regulated tobacco products, then the only place to buy them would be convenience stores which don’t offer cessation programs.

Levasseur hopes to garner enough support to send about 3000 emails to Dix in time for the start of the fall legislative session which resumes on Oct. 7.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Downtown Victoria tea shop switches to plastic tea bags

Murchie’s Tea and Coffee says the transition is temporary

Indigenous artist challenges people to re-assess environments with new project

The ‘Indigenous Illuminations’ transforms the ordinary into something new

Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

Dog memorial at Esquimalt Lagoon encourages living in the moment

Owner of Jazz the black lab sets up tennis ball memorial one year after dog’s death

Driver charged in Central Saanich pedestrian’s death appears in court

Victim Kim Ward, 51, died on scene at the August 2018 crash

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Electric cello, stolen from vehicle in Williams Lake, returned to U.S. owner

Rita Rice of Texas said she and her husband had given up hope of ever seeing it again

Vancouver Island’s West Coast going wild about cycling

Ongoing project will tie Tofino and Ucluelet together with a paved cycling trail

Drop, cover and hold on: Thousands of British Columbians to take part in earthquake drill

This year’s drill comes as scientists announce discovery of ‘stormquakes,’ an earthquake and hurricane

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Frustration and pride in Canada after a year of legal pot

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

West Kelowna business facing charges after six bears killed over littering

A West Kelowna business has been charged for leaving garbage around Lake Okanagan Resort

Most Read