Atlantic Canada’s convenience store retailers recognize National Non-Smoking Week
Association encourages provincial governments to get tougher on illegal tobacco sales
HALIFAX (January 19th, 2015) In recognition of National Non-Smoking Week, the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association (ACSA) is encouraging Atlantic Canada’s provincial governments to get tougher on illegal tobacco sales to reduce the harm these sales have on youth.
“Retailers are on the front lines every day preventing youth from accessing age-restricted products,“ said Mike Hammoud, president of the ACSA. “Unlike black market criminals who are selling illegal tobacco to youth in alarming numbers, retailers are trained and committed to asking for I.D from anyone who appears to be under the age of 25.”
Convenience retailers, says Hammoud, also comply with all regulations regarding point-of-sale display bans on tobacco products, and ensure tobacco products are not marketed in-store or are enticing to young people.
The ACSA believes that the battle against youth tobacco consumption is seriously weakened by the easy availability of cheap illegal smokes.
“Our research shows alarming quantities of illegal cigarettes at popular smoking areas near many high schools,” says Hammoud. “Youth appear to have ready access to illegal cigarettes and that’s a serious problem. New research has also shown that youth who smoke illegal cigarettes are more likely to use illicit drugs.”
Hammoud says that Atlantic Canada’s provincial governments need to enact tougher legislation to counter the distribution and sale of illegal tobacco. The ACSA, says Hammoud, supports the tough legislation introduced by Québec in Bill 59 to successfully fight the problem in that province.
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About the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association
The Atlantic Convenience Stores Association is a not-for-profit organization representing the business interests of Atlantic Canada’s convenience store industry. The mission of the association is to help ensure an economically viable and sustainable business environment for members by serving the best interests of Atlantic Canada’s convenience store operators and consumers alike through advocacy, advice, education and training. The Atlantic Convenience Stores Association’s membership includes more than 2,000 convenience stores in the four Atlantic provinces, representing two-thirds of the industry’s locations.
Mike Hammoud, President, Atlantic Convenience Stores Association