New Data Show High Compliance From Ontario C-stores

The retailers passed government age-check inspections with a 95.7% success rate.

October 05, 2018

OAKVILLE, Ontario – Ontario convenience stores consistently sell age-restricted products such as tobacco, lottery tickets, alcohol and vaping products responsibly, according to new results from data obtained from the Ontario Ministries of the Attorney General and Health and Long-Term Care.

In 2017, the Ontario government conducted 19,822 mystery shopping checks in support of the Smoke Free Ontario Act, and convenience stores were found to be 95.7% successful at denying sales to those younger than age 19. No other retailer is checked as thoroughly by regulators as convenience stores, and no other retail channel can demonstrate comparable success rates of age verification, according to an Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) press release.

“Convenience stores are responsible community retailers—committed to the highest standards in Ontario. [We’re] very pleased with these latest results and will always stand behind strict enforcement of responsible retailing practices, especially when it comes to age verification,” said Dave Bryans, CEO of OSCA.

Retailers have policies and practices in place to make sure age-restricted products stay out of the hands of young people. All Ontario convenience stores abide by a Retailer Code of Conduct that ensures all legal and social obligations are met to keep age-restricted products out of the hands of minors. This demonstrates to the community that convenience stores are responsible businesses and shows the government that the industry is serious about age verification.

Convenience retailers and staff also are trained in responsible retailing practices. “Our retailers are well-versed in Ontario’s regulations, and are trained in how to properly request ID and what forms of ID are acceptable,” said Bryans.

In the United States, the We Card program provides resources to retailers that help prevent tobacco and e-cigarette sales to minors. NACS is a founding member of the program. For the new 2019 We Card in-store materials, including tools and training programs, visit