Western Convenience Stores Association

Western Convenience Stores Association

November 13, 2014 17:35 ET

Alberta Retailers Pleased With Tobacco Announcement

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Nov. 13, 2014) - The Western Convenience Stores Association (WCSA) is pleased with the Government of Alberta's decision not to ban menthol products. A ban on menthol would lead to an increase in the illegal market where products are easily accessible to youth.

"When convenience stores sell cigarettes, they sell them in a highly regulated environment to adults, many of whom have been our regular customers for decades," said Andrew Klukas, President of the WCSA. "A ban on menthol would have had an extremely negative effect on our small businesses across Alberta."

Keeping tobacco out of the hands of youth is a top priority for convenience store owners in Alberta. The WCSA will continue to work with the Government of Alberta to ensure full compliance amongst retailers in handling all age-restricted products.

"Our retailers receive extensive training on how to sell products that includes a comprehensive and free online program called We Expect I.D., which is offered by the WCSA to all retailers in Alberta," said Mr. Klukas. "This focus - to keep cigarettes out of the hands of youth - will not change."

The WCSA would also like the Government of Alberta to focus on the issue of illegal tobacco. Last week, the Association released a study that found 9.8% of Albertans are already smoking illegal/contraband cigarettes.

"We know that high school students in communities across Alberta have access to illegal tobacco", said Klukas. "We will continue to call for stronger anti-contraband legislation in Alberta, as well as for additional resources for enforcement."

ABOUT THE WCSA

The WCSA is a not-for-profit trade association that represents the interests of over 2,400 Alberta convenience store retailers. These retailers employ more than 20,000 people and contribute over $7 billion annually to the province's economy. Its mission is to foster the success of the convenience store industry in Western Canada by representing the best interests of its members and the communities they serve.

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