Imperial Canada - stop illegal tobacco sales rather than raisng tax on tobacco..

May 8, 2009 - Imperial Tobacco Canada, the wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of British American Tobacco p.l.c. (BAT) is Canada's leading tobacco company. Imperial continues to try and convince the Canadian governments to clamp down on illegal (illicit, contraband, smuggling) cigarette sales and NOT increase taxes on tobacco products.

In a statement before the Ontario Legislature's Standing Committee on Justice Policy, Donald McCarty, Imperial Tobacco Canada's Vice-President of Law, called on the Government of Ontario to step up and stamp out the out-of-control illegal tobacco industry rather than waste time and taxpayers money on futile legislation.

Ontarians need to understand that the province has the highest percentage of illegal tobacco sales in Canada. In 2008, almost 50 per cent of cigarettes purchased in Ontario were illegal. The Ontario Auditor General reported late last year that in 2006-2007 the province missed out on $500 million in taxes specifically from illegal tobacco sales - no small sum in today's economic environment. Imperial Tobacco Canada believes it could be as much as $1 billion today.

By increasing the price for cigarettes via taxation legislators announce to the world that there are profits to be made in the illicit delivery of cigarettes.

More on tobacco in Canada.

Reference: Tobacco legislation deflects focus on true problem Imperial Tobacco Canada calls on Government of Ontario to address crisis of illegal tobacco sales, CNW Group, 5/7/2009.

Related news brief: Canada - will higher tobacco prices lead to increase in illicit cigarettes..; Imperial Tobacco Canada - slow illegal cigarettes/sue tobacco companies..

Click on image to enlarge.., flow of illicit cigarettes from the U.S.