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New Vape Regulations Fail to Address Youth Vaping Issues

Convenience stores disappointed new regulations will do little to address the issue of youth access to vaping

TORONTO, Oct. 25, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Convenience store retailers are expressing their disappointment today at regulations introduced this morning by the Government of Ontario that restricts in-store promotion of vaping products at convenience stores across Ontario. These new regulations were announced ahead of a roundtable discussion with government and industry scheduled for next week.

“Youth access to vaping products is a serious issue, and one that we take seriously, which is why we have committed to working with governments across the country to implement measures that will actually address that issue,” said Anne Kothawala, President and CEO of the Convenience Industry Council of Canada.

According to Government of Ontario data, convenience stores already have an excellent track record of selling age restricted products and pass government run mystery shopping tests at a rate of over 96%, surpassing government-controlled retailers like the LCBO each and every year. Furthermore, Government of Canada data shows that the overwhelming majority of youth who vape, or have tried vaping, are getting it from “social sources” (i.e. older siblings, family members, etc.), online purchases, and grey-market retailers that are not subject to the same regulations as convenience stores.

Kothawala continued by stating, “convenience stores are not the source of the youth vaping problem and restricting promotion inside of convenience stores will not be the solution to it either. Today’s regulatory changes do little more than hide that reduced risk alternatives for adult consumers of tobacco exist and fail to even remotely address the real issue of youth access to vaping products.”

“While it is disappointing that the Government of Ontario has chosen to announce these changes ahead of scheduled consultations, we look forward to continuing to work with governments across the country to implement solutions that will actually address the problem,” Kothawala stated. These solutions can include clamping down on contraband tobacco, fighting unregulated products sold online and through black-market retailers, implementing online sales regulations that utilize third party age verification techniques, and providing parents with the information they need to have meaningful conversations with their children about the potential dangers of nicotine and vape products.

Anne Kothawala concluded by saying, “we can decrease youth vaping while continuing to provide adult consumers with the information they need to make informed choices.”

CONTACT INFORMATION
For more information please contact: Anne Kothawala, President and CEO, Convenience Industry Council of Canada at (647) 242-3560 or akothawala@convenienceindustry.ca