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.