New results from data obtained from the Ontario Ministries of the Attorney General and Health and Long-Term Care show that Ontario convenience stores consistently sell age-restricted products like tobacco, lottery tickets, alcohol, and vaping products responsibly. And they’ll bring that same diligence to the expansion of beer and wine sales to convenience stores.
In 2018, 19,679 mystery shopping checks were conducted by public health units in support of the Smoke Free Ontario Act (SFOA), and convenience stores were found to be 96.2% successful at denying sales to those under 19. No other retailer is checked as thoroughly by regulators for age compliance as convenience stores, and no other retail channel has publicly demonstrated comparable success rates of age verification.
“Convenience stores are responsible community retailers – committed to the highest standards in Ontario. The OCSA is very pleased with these latest results and will always stand behind strict enforcement of responsible retailing practices, especially when it comes to age-verification,” said Dave Bryans, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA). “We will bring the same level of responsibility when selling beer and wine as we do selling other age-restricted products. No other retailer is entrusted to sell as many age restricted products as convenience stores. We’re good at it – and are working all the time to be even better.”
Retailers have policies and practices in place to make sure age-restricted products stay out of the hands of young people. All Ontario convenience stores abide by a Retailer Code of Conduct which ensures all legal and social obligations are met to keep age-restricted products out of the hands of minors. This demonstrates to the community that convenience stores are responsible businesses and shows the government that the industry is serious about age-verification.
Ontario’s convenience stores are also a strong partner of government, selling 75 per cent of all Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) lottery tickets worth $2.55 billion each year, and operating many of Ontario’s 219 LCBO Agency Stores, selling alcohol in rural and northern communities throughout the province.
The OCSA is always looking to discuss with government and other stakeholders on how to continually improve age verification practices across all our member stores when it comes to tobacco, lottery, alcohol, e-cigarettes and vaping products.
Notes About Data
Public Health Unit Youth Access Inspections are conducted to check compliance of retailers selling tobacco under the Smoke Free Ontario Act. Convenience stores are the primary retailer of tobacco products. Public Health Unit inspection data is collected from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Pass rate % is calculated from adding data obtained from the Ministry of the Attorney General on violations of Section 3 of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act: 3. (1) No person shall sell or supply tobacco to a person who is less than 19 years old. 1994, c. 10, s. 3 (1).
The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) represents 6,000 Ontario convenience stores committed to Responsible Community Retailing. The convenience store industry represents $13 billion in sales annually in Ontario and employs over 69,000 people. More than 3 million people visit convenience stores in communities across Ontario every day