In light of recent increases in cigarette prices and ongoing tax challenges faced by legal tobacco, the prevalence of untaxed cigarettes remains at a concerning 30-35% in Ontario.
While the tobacco category is experiencing a decline, it is crucial for us to strengthen our in-store business by consistently raising awareness among our local MPPs about the detrimental effects of turning a blind eye to this illicit activity within our
It's worth noting that this issue has persisted for far too long across various governments and ministries, and it is essential for retailers to voice their concerns and actively contribute to finding a solution that brings cigarette smokers back to our stores.
Tobacco plays a significant role in our day-to-day operations, and when a smoker is influenced to purchase from an unknown source, we not only lose their business for other high-margin
and impulse products but also face the risk of eroding our customer base.
Instead of simply complaining about high prices, it is imperative that we educate our local MPPs about the specific challenges we face and the resulting loss of business. This approach sends a strong message and allows us to build a productive relationship with our local political representatives.
To address this issue effectively, we must unite our efforts and work together to educate
local politicians and engage with our tobacco industry contacts. By collectively communicating the gravity of this crime to our customers, the media, and politicians, we can highlight the importance of combating contraband tobacco.
It will require the combined dedication of retailers, customers, and the tobacco industry to raise awareness about the illegal distribution of untaxed cigarettes throughout Ontario and put an end to it.