Contraband tobacco is a major problem in Canada. It funds organized crime, facilitates youth smoking, and costs taxpayers billions.
The RCMP estimate that there are 175 criminal gangs involved in the trade, using the proceeds to finance their other illegal activities, including guns, drugs and human smuggling. Contraband tobacco's low price and easy availability make it a prime source for youth smoking- after all, criminals don't check for I.D.
In Ontario, the illegal cigarettes problem has become an epidemic. As much as 42% of cigarettes purchased in the province are contraband. It's time for the government to take action to address this problem.
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