January 25, 2002
NEWMARKET- York Region Health Services Department has completed its latest survey to assess the compliance of York Region tobacco vendors with the Tobacco Control Act.
Under the Tobacco Control Act, it is prohibited to sell or supply tobacco to anyone who is less than 19 years of age. Those who do, upon conviction, face fines to a maximum of $50,000. The legislation is a Provincial law that is administered on a local level by York Region Health Services tobacco enforcement officers.
Tobacco vendors are routinely surveyed to assess compliance with the Act. The most recent check was conducted in the latter part of 2001. Following Ministry of Health protocol, tobacco vendors were randomly selected to determine their willingness to sell tobacco products to underage youth. Test shoppers, aged 15 to17 years, were employed by York Region Health Services to assist with the survey. They entered the selected stores and attempted to purchase tobacco. If a sale occurred, a tobacco enforcement officer then issued a warning to the vendor.
The survey indicated that non-compliance with the Tobacco Control Act has increased from 12 % in 2000 to 21.9% in 2001. The survey showed that the majority of sales occurred in convenience stores, gas stations and supermarkets. As a result, additional enforcement checks will be conducted on those premises who sold to under age youth during the compliance survey. Charges will be laid if a sale occurs.
York Region Health Services is committed to educating residents about the health risks associated with tobacco use. Among the many educational programs offered is one to the school community to bring awareness of the Tobacco Control Act to staff, students and parents through workshops, displays and consultation.
Selling or supplying tobacco to anyone under the age of 19 years is against the law. York Region Health Services encourages residents to call and report any vendor that they see selling to under age youth. All calls are kept in the strictest of confidence.
To report a vendor or for information on the Tobacco Control Act or other health-related issue, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653
(toll free) or 905-895-8004.
The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities. York Region
is comprised of the following nine area municipalities: Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville. For more information, visit our website at www.region.york.on.ca.
Contact: Kim Clark, York Region Health Services
905-830-4444 Ext. 4101
Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region