CBC has turned up a damning result from an operation designed to test age verification compliance from Calgary area retailers when it comes to selling vapor products to minors. Selling vapor products to anyone under 18 years of age is illegal, but many Calgary teenagers apparently haven’t gotten the message. Sadly, it seems that some Calgary retailers missed the memo as well.
CBC recently took three area teenagers, ages 16 and 17, to 16 area retailers while wearing a hidden camera. Out of those 16 retailers, 5 failed to ask the underaged customers for identification. There are a few things to note here: 5 failures out of 16 attempts comes out to just under one third of the retailers targeted. However, CBC’s reporting mentions a 50mg device, which implies that the teenagers were attempting to purchase JUUL products, and JUUL products are typically sold in convenience stores rather than at adult-exclusive retailers such as tobacconists, liquor stores, and vape shops.
With those caveats aside, however, a nearly one third failure rate where age verification compliance is concerned is still damning for its impact on business, on youth, and lastly purely on optics for the vapor industry. Retailers of any kind have a responsibility to themselves and to the community to improve employee training to guard against sales to minors.
Two of the stores caught in the CBC’s age compliance inspection responded to questions from the broadcaster. One of the responding retailers advised the CBC that a staff member had been let go for selling to underaged customers. The other intimated that their employees would be formally reminded against selling to underaged customers.