MONTREAL, Oct. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Imperial Tobacco Canada is surprised that
Stephen Harper failed to include the issue of illegal tobacco as one of his
priorities when he revealed the Conservative's political platform earlier this
Not only is the Canadian Government losing over $2 billion dollars in tax
revenues, which is especially relevant in these troubled economic times, but
this growing problem continues to have extreme, negative, social impacts.
"Failure for government to prioritize the issue of illegal tobacco sales
is driving a highly regulated, heavily taxed, tobacco market to an illegal,
unregulated and untaxed free-for-all" said Mr. Benjamin Kemball, President and
CEO of Imperial Tobacco Canada.
The facts speak for themselves:
- Criminal gangs are selling illegal cigarettes at pocket money prices
(as low as 200 sticks for $6) to anyone who asks; including Canada's
- The prevalence of illegal cigarettes in the hands of Canadian youth
smokers averages 32%, with shocking peaks going up to 87% in certain
Quebec communities and up to 50% in Ontario.
- In 2008 32.7% of all cigarettes bought in Canada were illegal. Of
those, nearly half of the cigarettes bought in Ontario and 40% of those
purchased in Quebec were illegal.
- For the last three years, after more than 40 years of steady decline,
national smoking rates have remained the same.
In their own words the RCMP have stated that: "tobacco trafficking is now
regarded as a significant source of income for all levels of organized crime,
who reinvest the substantial profits to support other criminal activities."
(2008 Contraband Tobacco Enforcement Strategy)
Imperial Tobacco Canada asks all Canadian political parties to address
this insidious trade that is spreading across the country, costing Canadian
tax payers billions of dollars, targeting our youth and seriously undermining
law and order in this country.
For further information:
For further information: Sophie Alarie, Imperial Tobacco Canada, (514)
932-6161 ext. 2381, firstname.lastname@example.org