January 16, 2004

Helping Korean-speaking tobacco vendors understand the Tobacco Control Act


NEWMARKET - York Region Health Services and Health Canada have teamed together to produce a Korean translation of Tobacco Control Act educational materials. The Korean Tobacco Retailer Information Kit will be officially launched during National Non-Smoking Week at one of York Region's Korean-speaking tobacco vendors.


When:             Tuesday January 20th, 2004

10:00 a.m.


Where:            Churchill Cigar Store

Markville Mall   

5000 Highway 7 East, Markham

(Upper Level in the Food Court Best Buy entrance) 


Who:               Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio, City of Vaughan

                        Chair, York Region Health and Emergency Medical Services Committee


                        John Zawilinski, Regional Manager

Tobacco Control Program, Ontario/Nunavut, Health Canada




        Tobacco vendors are routinely surveyed to assess compliance with the Act. The most recent check was conducted in the latter part of 2003. 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 successfully decreased from 21.9% in 2001 to 13.25% in 2003, due in part to increased education of vendors about the Act. The survey showed that the majority of sales occurred in convenience stores.

        There are over 900 tobacco vendors in York Region. Of these, approximately 8% are Korean-speaking. Language-specific educational materials help vendors better understand and comply with the Tobacco Control Act.

        The Korean Tobacco Retailer Information Kit contains a variety of educational and promotional materials on the Tobacco Control Act, including a newly developed Korean Tobacco Retailer's Fact Sheet. This fact sheet was produced as a partnership project of York Region Health Services and Health Canada, for Korean-speaking vendors and their staff. The fact sheet will be made available to health units across Ontario.

        National Non-Smoking Week is January 18 through 24, 2004. The Canadian Council for Tobacco Control started national Non-Smoking Week (NNSW) in 1977. It is Canada's largest, longest lasting, and arguably most successful tobacco reduction campaign, involving thousands of agencies and individuals working at the federal, provincial/territorial, regional, and local level.


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, how to quit smoking or other health-related issue, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 (toll free).


For information on National Non-Smoking Week visit http://www.cctc.ca/




Contact:                       Wendy Lewis, York Region Corporate Communications Services

                                    905-830-4444 Ext. 1238


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