One in three cigarettes in Ontario is contraband, and 80% of that is elaborate, branded packs. Government has allowed the problem to get worse.
Contraband tobacco don’t follow Canada’s tobacco control rules, and packs are no different. They are sold with little or no health warnings, include banned flavours like menthol, and do not pay all federal and provincial excise taxes. The smoke shacks that sell them display products in the open, contrary to regulations.
Proposed packaging regulations will make this even worse. The federal government is proposing that all legal packs use the so-called slide and shell format. No other country that has adopted plain packaging of cigarettes has done so.
As you can see in hidden camera footage from smoke shacks and photos from police seizures, these packs are primarily used by the illegal market. This change will make it even harder for Canadians to know what is and is not contraband by requiring legal products to look like illegal ones.