In Alberta Many Retailers Sell Tobacco to Minors

Cigarettes in Shop

Health Canada reveals results of a latest study which showed that retailers in Alberta city do sell tobacco products to underage more often than other cities across the entire Canada.

Alberta Health Min­is­ter Sarah Hoff­man found that the results are troubling, because last year the province prohibited sale of tobacco products to minors.

Experts consider that this problem resulted in poor enforcement and suggested that there is a need to make more inspections and checks to retails. Now Health Department will search for ways to improve the existing law and analyze how  Calgary scored.

The city of Calgary is the biggest in Alberta province and the study says that it complied 89.4% of the time, Edmonton lagged be­hind at 68.7%.

The study is based on the information provided by secret shoppers who visited more than 5,500 stores in 30 cities last year starting from August to December. The study was made by CRG Mys­tery Shop­ping for Health Canada and poll­ing com­pany Ipsos Reid.

In the course of the study two young people (one minor and one aged 18) had a task to buy tobacco products without an ID. Scientists wanted to see how effective are age limits imposed by the exising law. For example, in Alberta a person must be at least 18 to buy tobacco.

The results of the study were posted recently on the department’s web site. Similar study was made last time back in 2009. The newest study shows that nearly 1 in 7 retailers in Canada do not follow the legislation and sell tobacco products to minors without asking for an ID.

Andrew Klukas said that the main reason why retailers avoid asking for an ID is the possibility to face anger from customer. Klukas said that here trainings are needed.

Les Hagen of the anti-smok­ing ad­vo­cacy group Ac­tion on Smok­ing and Health, told that people under 18 who pick up smoking habit become addicted quicky and easy, therfore it is necessary to keep them away from tobacco.

A study made in 2013 showed that among teens aged 15-19, 8.8% smoke in Alberta.

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