Submission Highlights the Path Forward for Ontario Action Against Contraband Tobacco

ONTARIO / ACCESSWIRE / June 23, 2020 / Today, the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT) put forth a submission to the Ontario Government for their unregulated tobacco consultation. The submission put together a decade of information from various sources, including the Government of Ontario and Quebec, the RCMP, and multiple studies done on contraband tobacco in Canada.

“We are proud to have put together this submission after years of encouraging the Ontario Government to take action. Ontario has the distinction of being the epicentre of the contraband tobacco problem in Canada, with one in three cigarettes sold in the province being illegal.” began Ron Bell, Law Enforcement Advisor to the Coalition.

The submission explored other models in provinces like Quebec, New Brunswick and Manitoba that have worked to combat contraband tobacco. For example, Quebec was able to halve their 33% rate of contraband tobacco in 2009 within two years. Illegal tobacco now only makes up roughly 12% in the province and the law enforcement community considers their model the gold standard.

“For over a decade, we have been asking the Ontario Government to adopt the Quebec model, which for every one dollar spent, they see a return of over fourteen dollars. This is in stark contrast to Ontario, where their own report in 2018 showed that the province is losing over $750 million in provincial excise taxes. Those lost proceeds go directly to organized crime groups who are also involved in illegal cannabis, cocaine, heroin and human trafficking.” continued Bell.

The submission also explored the impacts of COVID-19 on the illicit trade. Recent busts in Ontario have shown that contraband tobacco continues to be smuggled across the province and into other provinces despite the pandemic. This is at a time when over 3 million Canadians have lost their jobs and unemployment has risen to over 13%.

“The buying power of consumers in Ontario has been drastically impacted due to the economic downturn. As lockdown measures begin to ease, it is likely that we will see a dramatic increase in the contraband tobacco market. This is why the Ontario Government must take action now to combat this illicit trade that is fueling organized crime and taking millions away from the indebted public treasury.” concluded Bell.

About Us

The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco is a Canadian advocacy group formed with the participation of businesses, law and order organizations and individuals concerned about the growing danger of contraband cigarettes. Our members share the goals of working together to educate people and urge government to take quick action to stop this growing threat.


Kyle Larkin
NCACT Public Affairs
Work: 905-449-9077

SOURCE: National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco

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