Join the Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco - Toronto Teacher Mom

Join the Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco

Thursday, November 19, 2015

StopIllegalTobacco.ca #stopillegaltobacco

Growing up as a child, I often found myself contemplating what the world would be like when I grew up. There was much uncertainty surrounding the world's fate and I felt like I was bombarded by endless doomsday messages of apocalyptic proportions. We had the Y2K scare, the Gulf War, the depletion of the ozone layer, oil spills that threatened the state of the environment. The list goes on. But back then, I felt like it was all out of my control. That all I could do was sit back and watch it all on the news. What could I, a child, possibly do to affect change? Now, as a mother of two young children, I feel compelled to take action on issues that not only affect me but my children and my future grandchildren. This is why I have chosen not to ignore an issue right here in our own backyard but rather, take the opportunity that my blog affords me and voice my decision to sign a petition against the spread of illegal tobacco via StopIllegalTobacco.ca.

Did you know...?

1 in 3 cigarettes purchased in Ontario is illegal.

It may be news to many of us that the sale of illegal tobacco has risen to a critical level in Ontario. You may have heard some of the radio ads talking about the issue but have you listened to them? The unfortunate truth is that well-financed organized crime groups are actively bringing guns and drugs into the province, making Ontario's illegal cigarette problem the worst in Canada. What should not come as a surprise is that, once Ontarians learn the facts, the majority of them express their dissatisfaction and demand action such as tougher penalties for illegal tobacco traffickers and greater powers and funding for law enforcement.

In a provincial survey conducted on behalf of The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT), it was determined that nearly half of Ontarians are unaware that illegal tobacco is at the root of gun and drug trafficking. Hence the need for greater awareness and action around this public safety issue, including dispelling misconceptions about the ‘legal’ purchase of cigarettes from reserves. 


Did you know...?

The price of a taxed (legal) carton of cigarettes in Ontario is $88.64, while the sale of the same number of illegal cigarettes can cost as little as $6 to $20.

Personally, I was shocked to learn that the RCMP has estimated there are as many as 50 illegal factories in Ontario and Quebec operating outside of any government regulation, each of which can produce up to 10,000 cigarettes per minute. Fortunately, Ontario has taken steps to lead the way in the fight against illegal tobacco sales. In fact, this year, Ontario took control of raw-leaf production to better monitor and control leaves intended for the legitimate industry. Quebec has taken its own, even tougher, measures as well, such as allocating funding and granting greater powers to local and regional law enforcement agencies. As such, Quebec has reduced contraband’s share of the market to about 15 per cent (roughly half of the share of market in Ontario) thanks to the combined efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies across the province.

What Can You Do?

As this campaign is meant to drive awareness of the production, distribution and sale of illegal tobacco, Ontarians are invited to take a minute and visit stopillegaltobacco.ca to learn more about the impact this issue has on local communities across the province. If you feel so compelled, you can join me in signing the petition as well, or at the very least, share the message with your family and friends. You can also follow the discussion on the Stop Illegal Tobacco Facebook page and via Twitter using the special hashtag #StopIllegalTobacco. To learn more about the facts linking organized crime to the sale of illegal tobacco, visit StopIllegalTobacco.ca.

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored. Any opinions expressed therein are my own.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. i had no idea at all that this was a thing. thank you for bringing it to our attention!
    angelapsept@hotmail.com

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    1. Neither did I until I read up on some of the facts, which are quite staggering.

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  2. I did not know anything about this before this post. Thanks for sharing! And yes, we need to stop illegal tobacco now!!

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to learn more about it, Lisa.

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  3. In Alberta the price is $115 a carton and even more in BC so maybe Ontario should step it up, $88 was at least 10 years ago, they squashed all the illegal ones here, they were relentless, big difference in price though hey?

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    1. Wow, Doris! That is a huge difference! I had no idea it's even more expensive out west.

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  4. Wow cigarettes are cheap in Ontario compare to Alberta. They have the same issue in many other province. Maybe the government needs to reduce the tax on tobacco and people would stop bying illegal cigarettes.

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  5. The stats, I've been reading...... are pretty horrific. I don't think Canadians realize what really goes on after buying contraband cigarettes.

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    1. I'm pretty sure many don't. I know I didn't. Hopefully things will change for the better.

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  6. It really is scary to think about it. Must be stopped

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  7. Wow the stats are terrible, sad to think this is going on. We do need to take a stand against this! (Judy Cowan)

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    1. Yes, it's happening in our cities, in our neighbourhoods. It certainly is a scary thought.

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  8. Quite the statistics. I didn't realize.
    (Debbie W)

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  9. OMG. I had no idea!! Are these the same cigarettes that I see selling for cheap on some reserves? (not too far from where I live, I might add) I guess I have some more reading to do. Thank you for sharing this somewhat scary story.

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  10. I had no idea about this. How horrible. I'm glad that no one in my family smokes.

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