Many factors are associated with contraband tobacco use, including: cheaper rates, easy access, misconceptions about “legal” purchase of cigarettes from First Nations’ Reserves, insufficient enforcement and penalties, and organized criminal activity.
What can be done?
- Knowledge: Understanding the differences between legal and illegal tobacco products is the first step in preventing contraband tobacco use. Share this information with family, friends and co-workers to help grow the understanding. If you have questions please contact (link to complaints page).
- Tobacco Tax Increase: Ontario and Quebec have the lowest tobacco taxes among all provinces in Canada, yet the number of consumers of contraband tobacco is the largest in these two provinces. The benefits of increased tobacco taxes outweigh any minor increase in contraband use that might occur. Tax increases are best accompanied by more stringent anti-contraband measures. (OTRU report http://otru.org/what-effect-does-tobacco-taxation-have-contraband-debunking-taxation-contraband-tobacco-myth/ )
- Report: If you would like to report contraband activity in the community please contact the tobacco enforcement officer at 1-800-922-0096.