Illegal tobacco growth costing three provinces $2.47 billion in taxes: retail report

 By Dirk Meissner THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA-The governments of British Columbia, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador lost up to $2.47 billion in tax revenues over four years due to the growth in illegal tobacco sales, says a convenience industry report. The Convenience Industry Council of Canada report released Wednesday examined the downward trend in legal tobacco sales in the three provinces since 2019, compared with the rising growth in the underground contraband tobacco market. “These cigarettes are illegally sold, tax and duty free, without any Health Canada regulations or inspections and retail for a fraction of legal tobacco prices,” said the 72-page report. The report said there are more profits in selling illegal cigarettes than illicit drugs, yet the penalties for getting caught with the cigarettes are less harsh. It…

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