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Illegal cigarettes in Canada
October 7, 2013
As representatives of Imperial Tobacco Canada (ITC) incorporation, one of the hugest cigarettes' manufacturers in the word, state that the major danger for industry represent not restrictions of smoking and bans in advertising that are introduced over and over again but underground manufacturing and illegal distribution of counterfeit tobacco products.
Eric Gagnon - ITC corporate affairs director states that if today, all legally existing tobacco plants would have stopped their manufacturing process, contraband facilities would be enough to supply with cigarettes the whole Canada.
Imperial Tobacco accuses federal and provincial governments (especially in Quebec and Ontario) because they wink at such illegality and don't take any measures against smugglers.
According to data almost 25 % of today demand on cigarettes is covered at expense of black market.
"Nobody even is hiding", - Gagnon complaints, indicating that he can show 50 underground plants that produce about 130 billion cigarettes a year.
For 15 minutes trip across suburbs of Montreal you can see hundreds of "tobacco mini-shops" that belong to Indians. All of them sell counterfeit or contraband products.
"Everybody sees that but nobody wants to notice it", - says representative of Imperial Tobacco, showing that these underground plants sometimes are equipped at a state-of-the-art level and that sale of their products is not controlled by government in any way and cigarettes may be freely sold to minors.
The major "contraband" provinces are, of course, Ontario and Quebec; however, underground workers lead the charge. Their products are distributed today father eastward and westward.
To stop illegal manufacture and sale can only actions taken together by province and state governments.
Gagnon (by the way, he doesn't smoke and hopes that his two children will not acquire this vicious habit) warns" on suits against his Company Imperial Tobacco he is going to make Quebec government and Ottawa authorities co-respondent that have to divide responsibility for their inactivity.
It is interesting that according to the interrogation hold on Toronto Sun newspaper web-site, 31 % of its visitors have informed that they buy cigarettes that were illegally manufactured in Canada or illegally imported. 25 % don't do this and 43 % of interrogation participants have declared that they don't smoke at all.
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