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May 29, 2000
Not To Kids Campaign Kicks Off on World No Tobacco Day, May 31, 2000
Toronto Public Health - The Not to Kids public education and social marketing
campaign kicks off on World No tobacco Day, May 31, 2000 to reduce kids'
ability to get cigarettes.

The Tobacco Control Act, which came into effect in 1994, makes it against the
law to sell, buy for or give cigarettes (even one) to anyone under the age of
19. The Not to Kids campaign reminds both the community and retailers that the
sale and supply of cigarettes to under 19 year-olds is illegal.

"Anyone who sells or supplies cigarettes to youth is contributing to a serious
addiction that could result in many health problems", said Dr. Sheela Basrur,
Medical Officer of Health for Toronto Public Health. "We hope this campaign
will help stop the flow of cigarettes to kids", she added.

Tobacco is a leading cause of preventable death. Studies show that if people
have not started smoking by the age of 20, they are not likely to start. Nine
out of 10 smokers begin during their adolescent years.

As part of the World No Tobacco Day promotion, Toronto Public Health is working
with Mac's Convenience Stores Inc. to educate consumers about the Tobacco
Control Act.

"As responsible retailers, we're delighted to be a part of this project", said
Chris Gilbert, Director of Operations, Toronto District, Mac's Convenience
Stores Inc. "The Not to Kids campaign calls for everyone to work together to
prevent underage sale and supply of cigarettes to kids. As the project slogan
says: they can't smoke 'em if they can't get 'em".

Starting the week of May 29, Mac's and Beckers store operators across Toronto
will be wearing special Not to Kids T-shirts and handing out promotional items
to remind both store personnel and customers that it is against the law to sell
or supply cigarettes to anyone under 19.

Since 1995 there have been 650 charges laid against Toronto retailers by
Toronto Public Health, including 44 Automatic Prohibition Orders (APOs), with
two more APOs pending this year. Retailers convicted two or more times for
selling tobacco to minors or selling single cigarettes receive an APO, which
prohibits the retailer from selling and storing tobacco at the store for at
least six months.

Fines for violating the Tobacco Control Act are $215 for an individual for a
first offence, with a maximum fine of $4,000. A Corporation can be fined up to
$10,000 for the first offence and the maximum fine for a Director of a
Corporation is $100,000 for repeat offences.

To report stores or persons selling or supplying cigarettes to kids, or to find
out more about what you can do to help, call the Tobacco Hotline at Toronto
Public Health, 416-396-SALE (7253). For information about quitting smoking,
call the Toronto Public Health Central Intake Line at 416-395-7600.

The Not to Kids community project members are: Canadian Cancer Society, The
Council for Tobacco Free Toronto, East End Community Health Centre, Health
Canada, Mac's Convenience Stores Inc., Toronto Catholic District School Board,
Toronto District School Board, Toronto Public Health and YOUTHLINK. Funding for
this program is provided in part by the Ontario Tobacco Strategy, Ministry of
Health and Long-Term Care. No endorsement by the ministry is intended or should
be inferred.

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