A recent study conducted in Ontario has found that 31% of cigarettes being smoked are purchased illegally.
It doesn't come as a surprise to hear that many are using the black market to obtain their packs of cigarettes. Ontario's tobacco tax sees increases frequently due to the outdated thinking that taxation will deter people from continuing to smoke.
The government has used taxes as a deterrent for many things, however, the money being made on the back-end is enough for them to ignore what's really going on.
The black market for cigarettes peaked when the government increased the tax-rate for each one. And just as a plateau is hit, the anti-tobacco plan that Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins has put forward, there's most likely going to be another peak in the black market trend.
The study mentioned above was conducted throughout Ontario and involved picking up 18,000 used cigarette butts and analyzing them.
Unfortunately, they concluded that 31% of them were from black market sources.
This information backs up an earlier study from The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco, where they found that 32% of smokers reported using black market cigarettes.
Many have accused the government of "sticking their heads in the sand" and ignoring the problem. The association that commissioned the most recent study believe that tax increases are the main reason for people looking for illegal sources of tobacco.
Addiction means you'll do whatever it takes to obtain the substance required. If you're not earning enough money to pay for cigarettes then you're more than likely going to find them through other means.
The new bills introduced that affect e-cigarette sales could cause a similar increase in black market sales of mods and e-liquid. Many countries banning the products have already noticed a spike in illegally sourced contraband.
Ontario will have to wait and see if the government responds to the information or if they'll simply ignore it and do business as usual!