Kathleen Wynne Creating Another Layer of Tobacco Enforcement in Ontario JAN 25, 2016


Province Strengthening Enforcement and Collaboration

Ontario is taking action to combat contraband tobacco and keep our communities safe by creating a new Contraband Tobacco Enforcement Team within the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

Located within the OPP’s Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, the new team will be dedicated to investigating the smuggling and trafficking of contraband tobacco and will work closely with local, provincial, national and international enforcement agencies to combat and eliminate sophisticated contraband tobacco networks across Ontario.

The team will also work with the Ministry of Finance’s tobacco tax enforcement staff by sharing information and collaborating on contraband tobacco enforcement investigations. The Ministry of Finance will continue to provide tobacco enforcement through audits, inspections, and investigations.

Tobacco consumers should be aware that:

  • All legal cigarettes sold in cartons or packages have a legal yellow ‘ON Duty Paid Canada’Ontario tobacco stamp, with only certain limited exceptions.
  • It is illegal to buy, possess or distribute untaxed cigarettes without proper authorization.
  • Punishment includes civil penalties, fines, and in some cases, jail time, depending on the quantity of contraband tobacco and conviction history.

Addressing contraband tobacco continues to be a priority for Ontario. Low-cost, contraband tobacco undermines provincial health objectives under the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy, results in less tobacco tax revenues for critical public services our communities and families rely on, and compromises public safety through links with organized crime.

  • Being caught in possession of a single pack of 20 contraband cigarettes will cost the purchaser $108.The fine for 50 cartons or baggies is $4,693 and possession of any more could send you to jail.


  1. Duplication of services AGAIN!!

  2. Just brilliant… catch enough of the little guys and you put the big guys out of business. Didn’t work for pot did it.

    So why repeat a losing strategy?

    Because it takes the guilt off of First Nations tobacco producers, processors, runners, and the corrupt officials (on and off the rez) that also profit, and then places it squarely on people using a product that is legal — save that politicians aren’t getting their cut.

    Add to that the power and money plays made in government, by anyone and everyone that trains, equips, and wields a new and growing branch of law regulation and enforcement; political ministers and their deputies, police commisioners and their lackies… they’re creaming their jeans.

    And lastly, nobody risks the racist label or admits that there is a failed political and tribal 1%’er system behind this smuggling nonsense — and nobody upsets another one of the “traditions” that keep its own 99% in poverty and ignorance.

  3. My husband and my son are both smokers of cigarettes and they buy the cigarettes legally here in Ottawa at the stores. What they have noticed for a long time is that the cigarettes in the stores (some of the stores not all) are like the smuggled cigarettes and they burn faster and stink like the smuggled ones. The government doesn’t throw anything away and they package them up and sell them in a legal way. I won’t mention the stores at all here in Ottawa but they are very well know franchises that we all know and shop in them. I am for the strict rules about smuggling and health and the government should do its part as well and not be one sided. The cost of smoking is enormous and I think that many people wish that they could quit but can’t because of their addiction.

  4. “The government doesn’t throw anything away and they package them up and sell them in a legal way.” I didn’t know the government was in the cigarette manufacturing business. Some cigarettes just smell worse and burn faster than others. But all cigarettes are bad for you. The government will never make them illegal, even with all the health issues. They make too much tax income from them. Much like gas taxes. The government will never find Big Oil guilty of gas price fixing. Just too much tax income from gas taxes.

  5. Hugger I worked for gas tax way back in the 70’s and I enjoyed this unit a lot and they are the ones that I have been talking about. I was transferred to a word processing unit along with a few other women in my group but I missed gas tax people a lot. We were together downtown above where the public library is at Laurier and Metcalfe but in separate units but I would go through there on a daily basis and say hi to everyone. The government sure does make money on the sin taxes of alcohol, gas and tobacco. I worked with a woman who used to make up the labels for the alcohol as well. Cigarettes are mighty bad for the health but the thing is that the cigarettes that my husband and son used to purchase did not burn as fast as the ones that they are smoking now and smell and burn fast like the illegal ones. I don’t think that the government throws away those illegal cigarettes and my husband and son thinks that the government is repackaging them and selling them legally in the stores.

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