city of toronto energy drink ban-min

ontario convenience stores association

Toronto Public Health is currently reviewing the idea of imposing bans on the sale and marketing of energy drinks at both City-owned venues and private businesses.

We know that such restrictions will have a direct economic impact on City facilities as well as retailers.

Our members sell energy drinks. The various measures that are currently under consideration by Toronto Public Health would have a tremendous impact on the convenience stores in Toronto.



Board of Health City Council
November 8, 2016 – 9:30 AM
December 5, 2016 – 1:00 PM
December 13, 2016 – 9:30 AM
January 23, 2017 – 1:00 PM
January 31, 2017 – 9:30 AM


There are two reviews with respect to energy drinks that are currently under consideration by Toronto Public Health. It is anticipated that the results of these reviews will be coming forward to the Board of Health, and then full Council, in the coming weeks.

The first, and wide reaching, report will be on the following 2014 request from Toronto Board of Health:

The Board of Health:

1. Requested the Medical Officer of Health, in consultation with other appropriate staff, to report to the Board of Health on ways and means of preventing children and youth under the age of majority from buying energy drinks, and on the feasibility of:

a. banning energy drink marketing, distribution (sampling) and advertising on City properties;

b. banning the sale of energy drinks to youth and children in all Toronto affiliated agencies, boards, and commissions including the Canadian National Exhibition in compliance with the ban at City properties;

c. banning the sale of energy drinks to youth and children in Toronto retail outlets; and

d. requiring point-of-sale warning signage to be posted in retail outlets to assist in awareness to the potential dangers that these drinks pose.

The second report will be the results of the consultation on the following 2014 Council direction:

1. City Council approve the Alcohol Policy included as Appendix B of the report (July 30, 2014) from the Medical Officer of Health with Appendix B amended by referring the following paragraph under the “Food and Beverages” section back to the Medical Officer of Health for further consultation with third party operators and other stakeholders and report back in 2015:

“Energy drinks must not be sold in conjunction with alcohol due to the combined effects of caffeine and alcohol. When consuming energy drinks mixed with alcohol, persons may have a false sense of alertness as the drowsiness and symptoms of alcohol intoxication may be masked by the caffeine. As a result, there is a risk they may over-consume alcohol and injure themselves or others.”


When the issue of energy drinks was raised by Toronto Public Health in 2014, a wide range of stakeholders made their concerns known. Some put their concerns directly on the public record by way of deputations or by formal correspondence to both the Board of Health and City Council. These statements reinforced the challenges that such bans or limitations would place on businesses, as well as the sponsorship of various cultural and sporting activities. They focused on both the economic and logistical challenges that the proposed approach would take.

At that time, Councillors took these concerns very seriously and sent the reports back for further consideration and consultation. Today, it remains just as important for members of Council, especially new Councillors and the Mayor, to understand the ramifications that taking this approach on legal products such as energy drinks will have on your organization’s activities.

I would encourage retailers with stores located in the Toronto geographic boundaries to be vocal and contact their councillor to ensure that they understand the impact on your business.