We encourage all convenience stores to ensure they can properly age test and identify tobacco purchasers during these COVID 19 times.
The OCSA has reached out to the Ministry Health and SFOA asking for a prodigal of their expectations of identifying tobacco purchasers who are now wearing safety masks. We need all 34 Public Health Units to be aligned on the direction and expectations of this issue to help us consistently give direction to our employees.
At this time there has been no response from the Ministry of Health or the Public Health Units.
Every retailer should have a plan to confirm the identity of customers who appear to be 25 and under by asking them to step back and lower their mask for a confirmation.
If customers refuses, then it safer to end the sale so as not to contravene the act.
Also, as suggested in the past (after confirming identity) when selling tobacco, lottery and other age restricted products be sure to ask the question:
“Are you old enough today to purchase tobacco in my store? Please declare your age.”
Retailers have worked together over the last 10 years to be the best at selling age restricted products and this is just another new challenge we face with no direction from the government.