Tobacco-control coalition seeks to alter driver's licences 0
A provincial tobacco-control coalition wants to alter driver’s licences in Ontario to make it easier to see if someone is old enough to buy cigarettes and alcohol.
A local representative of the "Not To Kids" coalition is solidly behind the proposal to add visual age indicator strips down the side of licences, a press release from the Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Pine Ridge District Health Unit indicated.
The proposed colour strips would appear beside the photo on a driver’s licence, indicating if the person is under the age of 19 years and listing the date when the licencee would reach the age of majority, the press release said.
In Ontario, people must be 19 years of age and older to buy items such as tobacco products, alcohol and lottery tickets.
“Driver’s licences are the most common form of ID used to buy restricted products like tobacco and alcohol,” said Lorne Jordan, a tobacco control Officer with the health unit. “By clearly showing on the licence when someone will turn age 19, it will take away any guesswork for store clerks and retailers and help them easily identify underage customers.”
All American states have the visual age indicator strips on their licences, as does every Canadian province except for Ontario and Quebec.
In Ontario, "Not To Kids" representatives have presented a similar idea for this province to adopt, and officials with Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation are reviewing the proposal.
“It makes plenty of sense for Ontario to adopt the visual age indicator strips, since it will benefit retailers here,” Jordan said.
With current Ontario driver’s licences there can be a high degree of error among store clerks and retailers determining if someone is 19 years of age, Jordan added.
According to the "Not To Kids" coalition, visual age indicator strips will make the job of weeding out underage customers faster, easier and more accurate for Ontario businesses. That will help lower the unintentional sale of tobacco and alcohol to minors, reducing the risk of retailers and their employees being charged, the press release stated.
The Not to Kids coalition (www.nottokids.ca) is a network of public health units in Ontario that work to reduce tobacco use among youth by limiting access to tobacco products from all sources. Jordan urges local residents and retailers to support the licence change by contacting their Member of Provincial Parliament.
To find out more, contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 or visit www.hkpr.on.ca.