Average of 1 in 3 Cigarettes Sold in Ontario are Contraband

Today, the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT) released results of a study highlighting 31% of cigarettes purchased in Ontario were illegal.


"With about 1 in 3 of all cigarettes purchased in the province being illegal, Ontario has the worst contraband tobacco problem in the country," said Gary Grant, a 39-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service and national spokesperson for the NCACT. "This incidence has remained relatively stable now for a number of years, and is a reminder that the provincial and federal governments must take real action to address the problem."


Contraband was highest in Northern and Southern Ontario, where illegal cigarettes represented 59% and 34% of all cigarettes purchased. About 1 in 5 cigarettes in the GTA and Eastern Ontario, including Ottawa, were illegal. The survey of 1500 adult smokers in Ontario was conducted by GFK over a 12 week period ending on July 23rd. Respondents were asked through a continuous online tracking study about their cigarette purchases over the past 7 days.