Test shopping inspections of tobacco retailers have been strongly supported by the residents of Simcoe Muskoka in past surveys as a means of keeping tobacco products out of the hands of youth. In 2016, 455 tobacco vendors in Simcoe Muskoka had test shopping inspections conducted to ensure compliance with youth access restrictions. During these inspections, under-aged test shoppers attempted to purchase tobacco from the vendors; however, vendors were compliant in 97.02% of transactions. Vendor compliance with youth access restrictions in Simcoe Muskoka has been above 90% since 2011.
From the 2011 Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS), 89% (86.3%, 90.6%) of Simcoe Muskoka adults (18+ years) said they believe stores that ignore the law and sell tobacco to young people should no longer be allowed to sell tobacco.
What is harder to control than retail purchases is the sale and supply of tobacco to youth by friends, parents, other relatives and strangers. Despite ongoing work to educate the public, fewer than half, 45% (41.3%, 48.3%), of Simcoe Muskoka adults (18+ years) correctly stated that 19 years of age is the legal age limit to purchase tobacco products in Ontario. In addition, 6% (4.0%, 7.6%) of adults reported they had been asked by a minor to give or buy them cigarettes in the past six months.