TORONTO, April 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario convenience stores who are already selling cigarettes to kids cannot be trusted with the responsibility of alcohol sales, said Gwyn Chapman, Chairperson of Parents 4 Safe Communities (P4SC).
A University of Guelph study funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health found that 28% of retailers were willing to sell tobacco to underage youth. The report highlights that, "gas stations and convenience stores having the highest "agreeing to sell [to minors]" percentages at 33 and 26 per cent, respectively." This trend was corroborated by the recent Ipsos Reid survey showing that over 20% of Toronto convenience stores did not ask for appropriate identification.
When the Government of Ontario announced plans to have LCBO express outlets in grocery stores, the Ontario Convenience Stores Association reacted by continuing to pushing to sell liquor at our community corner stores. P4SC opposes this idea that would make communities less safe and put more alcohol in the hands of kids.
"Corner stores cannot be trusted to sell alcohol. They already can't handle tobacco sales already," said Ms. Chapman. "How can this association, whose members sell cigarettes to our kids illegally, day after day, be trusted to responsibly sell alcohol?"
P4SC believes convenience stores aren't responsible stewards of drugs and alcohol and we are worried about the toxic effect that these easily available substances will have on our kids' health and safety. In particular, we are concerned that selling alcohol in convenience stores will lead to increases in:
- Access to alcohol by underage youth;
- Impaired driving; and
- Problems with alcohol abuse in parks, playgrounds and schoolyards.
"As a parent, it's worrisome that the OCSA is funded by multinational tobacco manufacturers. How can it reasonably be motivated to keep cigarettes out of the hands of our youth? This conflict of interest is even more troubling when you consider that the OCSA has gone to bat for big tobacco by lobbying to reduce tobacco taxes," said Chapman.
SOURCE: Parents 4 Safe Communities
For further information: For more information about P4SC or to contact us: Gwyn Chapman, 647-471-P4SC (7472), firstname.lastname@example.org