Retailer compliance evaluation

Health Canada works with its provincial partners to enforce retailer compliance with the Tobacco Act. As part of their enforcement activities, provincial inspectors visit retailers to verify and enforce compliance. In addition to the compliance information submitted by the provinces, Health Canada has obtained retailer behaviour information on a regular basis through surveys conducted regularly since 1995. As well as providing important results nationally on this issue, these surveys serve as a regular measurement for each province to track its own success in enforcing adherence of retailers to sales to minors legislation and to take appropriate action where needed. In this section, you can access retailer behaviour reports for 2002-2006 and key results for 2002-2009.

To obtain a PDF version of the complete reports from 2007 onward, contact the Tobacco Control Programme.

Backgrounders: 2005  2004  2003
Key Results: 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Final Reports of Findings: 2006  2005  2004  2003  2002

Overview

Nationally, in 2009, 84.3% of retailers refused to sell cigarettes to underage Canadians, statistically unchanged from 2008 (85.9%). National retailer compliance with respect to refusing cigarette sales to underage youth has exceeded 80% or greater for the sixth consecutive year.

Percentage of Retailers Refusing to Sell Cigarettes to Minors, 1995-2009.

Percentage of Retailers Refusing to Sell Cigarettes to Minors, 1995-2009.
Description - Percentage of Retailers Refusing to Sell Cigarettes to Minors, 1995-2009.

Graphic showing the percentage of retailers refusing to sell cigarettes to minors from 1995 to 2008.

1995:
47.9 percent
1996:
60.5 percent
1997:
67.3 percent
1998:
61.0 percent
1999:
69.7 percent
2000:
69.8 percent
2002:
71.2 percent
2003:
67.7 percent
2004:
82.3 percent
2005:
80.8 percent
2006:
81.7 percent
2007:
85.9 percent
2008:
85.9 percent
2009:
84.3 percent

Previous Years

Nationally, in 2008, 85.9% of retailers refused to sell cigarettes to underage Canadians. Unchanged from 2007, 85.9% remains the highest recorded level since this survey began in 1995 and demonstrates continued vigilance by the majority of retailers in reducing youth access to tobacco.

Nationally, in 2007, 85.9% of retailers refused to sell cigarettes to underage Canadians. This latest result in 2007 represents a statistically significant increase from the 2006 result (81.7%) and demonstrates continued improvement by retailers in reducing youth access to tobacco.

Nationally, in 2006, the percentage of retailers refusing to sell cigarettes to underage Canadians was 81.7%. This latest result in 2006 does not represent a statistically significant increase from the 2005 result (80.8%). The FTCS goal of 80% compliance, achieved for the first time in 2004 (82.3%), continues to be met with the latest result for 2006 (81.7%).

Nationally, in 2005, the percentage of retailers refusing to sell cigarettes to underage Canadians was 80.8%. Results for 2005 continue to demonstrate an improvement in retailer behaviour compared to 1995, when this research first began: in 1995, only 47.9% of retailers were refusing to sell cigarettes to minors. The FTCS goal of 80% compliance was achieved for the first time in 2004, and continued to be met in 2005.

Nationally, in 2004, the percentage of retailers refusing to sell cigarettes to underage Canadians (82.3%) has substantially increased from rates seen for the past couple of years. This latest result represents a vast improvement from the first data collected on this issue by Health Canada in 1995, where only 47.9% of retailers were refusing to sell cigarettes to minors. This year's result illustrates once again that refusing to sell to minors remains strongly linked with a tendency to ask for ID: for teens of all ages of whom ID was requested, 96.9% of retailers refused to sell when no identification was shown, virtually the same result as in 2003 (97.1%).

Nationally, in 2003, the percentage of retailers refusing to sell cigarettes to underage Canadians (66.7%) has decreased slightly from the rate where it has hovered for the past three years (approximately 70%). The percentage of retailers who asked for ID in 2003 also dropped slightly to 65.9% from 68.9% in 2002. However, refusing to sell to minors has become more strongly linked with a tendency to ask for ID: for teens of all ages of whom ID was requested, 97.0% of retailers refused to sell when no identification was shown, a slight increase from 95.9% in 2002.

Nationally, in 2002, the percentage of retailers refusing to sell cigarettes to underage Canadians (71.2%) has surpassed seventy percent for the first time since Health Canada began taking measurements in 1995.

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