A new Ontario study by the Ontario Convenience Store Association (OSCA) suggests that 21.8% of all cigarette butt gathered from 133 locations across the Ontario were contraband, or illegal smokes.
Many of these illegal smokes are manufactured in 50 factories located on aboriginal reserves across the province. These “reserve smokes” can cost as little as $10 for 200 packs, while a 200-cigarette carton will go for $88 in a convenience store, thanks to taxes.
According to law, you can only purchase reserve smokes from a reserve if you are a First Nations member and present a status card.
OSCA Dave Bryans said that everybody is buying illegal smokes, not just residents who live in rural areas close to reserves.
The provincial government argues that these cheap smokes take more than $1 BILLION out of their coffers, and have vowed to crack down on this issue.
Is it time for the authorities to enter these reserves and shut down the retailers and factories behind this popular illegal activity?
If you buy these reserve smokes, do you care that the government isn’t getting their cut?
The Toronto Sun provides more information HERE.