Youth Con­tra­band To­bacco Study 2009

Seaway News - - FRONT PAGE -

… con­firms that teen smokers are get­ting hooked on con­tra­band cigarettes in sig­nif­i­cant num­bers. Th­ese cheap and easy-to-get il­le­gal cigarettes are be­ing smug­gled and sold through­out Canada in record num­bers and qui­etly un­der­min­ing…

A new study com­mis­sioned by the Na­tional Coali­tion Against Con­tra­band To­bacco ( NCACT) con­firms that teen smokers are get­ting hooked on con­tra­band cigarettes in sig­nif­i­cant num­bers. Th­ese cheap and easy-to-get il­le­gal cigarettes are be­ing smug­gled and sold through­out Canada in record num­bers and qui­etly un­der­min­ing gov­ern­ment anti-smok­ing pro­grams.

“ Kids, who shouldn’t be smok­ing at all, are hav­ing no trou­ble get­ting their hands on il­le­gal cigarettes that cost pen­nies a piece. For a third year run­ning, this study shows that youth are a pri­mary tar­get of the thugs at the end of the con­tra­band to­bacco dis­tri­bu­tion chain,” said Gary Grant, spokesper­son for the NCACT and re­tired staff su­per­in­ten­dent of the Toronto Po­lice Ser­vice. “ Gov­ern­ment needs to take mean­ing­ful action now by ban­ning youth pos­ses­sion of to­bacco. If it’s il­le­gal for some­one un­der 19 to have a beer, the same or stricter rules should ap­ply for cigarettes— it’s just com­mon sense.”

While youth smok­ing rates con­tinue to hover at all-time lows, this new re­search shows the use of un­reg­u­lated and un­taxed con­tra­band to­bacco cigarettes are wide­spread among kids.

In Corn­wall, cig­a­rette butts were col­lected from around five high schools and anal­y­sis re­vealed 38 per­cent of the cig­a­rette butts col­lected were il­le­gal. Th­ese re­sults were equal to the sur­vey done in 2008 which also showed the rate of con­tra­band around Corn­wall high schools at 38 per­cent. Col­lec­tions for the 2009 study were done around the fol­low­ing schools in Corn­wall: La Ci­tadelle, 510 McCon­nell Ave.; Ecole L’Her­itage 1111 Montreal Rd.; T. R. Leger Windmill Point, 2 Belmont St.; St. Joseph’s 1500 Cum­ber­land St.; Corn­wall Col­le­giate Vo­ca­tional School 437 Syd­ney St.

Grant added, “ The tragedy here is that con­tra­band to­bacco has short-cir­cuited all the gov­ern­ment’s anti-smok­ing ef­forts— taxes, health warn­ings, dis­play bans, manda­tory ID checks, gov­ern­ment anti-smok­ing ini­tia­tives— are all go­ing up in smoke be­cause of the wide avail­abil­ity of il­le­gal cigarettes.”

The NCACT’s 2009 Youth Con­tra­band Study was con­ducted by in­de­pen­dent re­search com­pany that vis­ited high schools in On­tario and Que­bec to col­lect cig­a­rette butts from pub­lic grounds out­side school prop­erty. Col­lec­tions were done by ex­pe­ri­enced re­search per­son­nel dur­ing af­ter-school hours. Cig­a­rette butts were col­lected, ex­am­ined and classified in three cat­e­gories: le­gal, con­tra­band or un­known.

Con­tra­band cigarettes are of­ten made in il­le­gal, un­reg­u­lated fac­to­ries and sold to kids out of the trunks of cars. Con­tra­band cigarettes are il­le­gally im­ported from places like the United States and China, or il­le­gally man­u­fac­tured and sold, tens of thou­sands of car­tons each day, right here in Canada.

They are priced cheaply, of­ten sell­ing for $ 1 for a pack of 20 cigarettes as com­pared to $ 8 for gov­ern­ment-taxed cigarettes. This hap­pens with ab­so­lutely no gov­ern­ment in­spec­tion, test­ing, or re­view. In ev­ery case, th­ese to­bacco prod­ucts are be­ing sold without tax, rob­bing gov­ern­ment of bil­lions in rev­enue each year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.