Contraband Tobacco in Ontario – Numbers Don’t Lie!
Contraband tobacco is a serious problem in Ontario and is negatively impacting many different people in different ways.
Every year the provincial and federal government loses more than a billion dollars in tax revenue that isn’t collected on contraband tobacco sales.
Every year law abiding, licensed convenience stores lose hundreds of millions in lost sales revenue that customers don’t spend when they buy their tobacco from the black market.
Every year thousands of criminals profit millions from the trade of illegal tobacco. These same criminals also traffic illegal drugs, guns and humans.
Every year hundreds of convenience stores are forced to close their doors permanently, unable to compete against illegal contraband being sold for a fraction of what legal tobacco sells for.
Allowing this problem to grow over the years undermines all government anti smoking regulations including high taxation, plain packaging and age restrictions to purchase. Today countless minors have access to cheap, unregulated contraband tobacco in Ontario.
Convenience store operators in Ontario have long called for action against contraband tobacco. With a provincial election now scheduled for June 2, we are encouraging more of our store owners to talk about how contraband tobacco is negatively impacting their business and community.