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Taxation opponents' key argument is the threat of renewed smuggling. Discussion of the validity of these claims is provided:


Since around 2004, the appearance of contraband tobacco began to proliferate in Ontario. Since then, OCAT has been advocating for comprehensive contraband control, including increased tobacco taxation, revision of the on-reserve allocation/quota system, stricter licensing system, regulation of raw materials, tobacco marking on tobacco packages, tracking and tracing system, stiffer penalties, and increased enforcement (including appointment of police and health inspectors as inspectors under the Tobacco Tax Act.

Through its affiliates, which include various convenience store associations and the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT), the tobacco industry has been heavily advocating against all tobacco control regulations with the argument that it will lead to increased contraband. Contraband use data differs between organizations – unscientific data from NCACT/convenience stores association did not match data from the tobacco companies themselves or government/scientific research data (NCACT data tends to be inflated). In 2016, OCAT obtained a 2012 Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. (ITCL) presentation on its Anti-Illicit Tobacco Strategy which showed the industry’s use of intensive advocacy about the need to control contraband as a means of blocking tobacco tax increases and other tobacco control regulations.

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