Illegal Tobacco/Youth Smoking/Age Verification
industry, the largest retailer of legal tobacco products in the province, was encouraged by the government's inclusion of anti-illicit tobacco measures in the 2015 budget and are pleased to hear about new enforcement measures. The abundance of illegal tobacco, however, remains higher than any other province in Canada.
The answer to solving
Ontario's deficit cannot come at the price of yet another tobacco tax increase. This, as polls have shown, would only encourage customers to seek cheaper products on the illegal market.
With regard to youth consumption of tobacco, we encourage stricter laws surrounding the purchasing and possession of tobacco by underage individuals. We cannot continue to normalize this behavior and should
police it as we do alcohol.
Finally, we would like to request funding to certify and further train every employee to handle tobacco. Similarly to Smart Serve, we could train over 69,000 provincial employees, including many new Canadians on age testing.