Expanding Illegal Tobacco Market: British Columbia Losing Millions

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Expanding Illegal Tobacco Market: British Columbia Losing Millions
The illegal tobacco market in British Columbia has caused a record tax revenue loss of $229 million, prompting calls for action.

According to a report by commercial media outlet CNW on September 11th, the illicit tobacco market in Canada has been continuously expanding in recent years. The province of British Columbia has recorded its highest ever loss in cigarette tax revenue, amounting to a staggering 229 million Canadian dollars.


The government of British Columbia recently reported a sharp decline of $229 million CAD in cigarette tax revenue for the fiscal year 2022-2023. This is a direct reflection of the growing illicit tobacco market in the province and marks the largest loss in tax revenue for any province since 2013.


Eric Gagnon, Vice President of Imperial Tobacco Canada, issued a warning in the latest financial update.


The province of British Columbia is currently facing a serious issue of illegal tobacco, and it is now time to take decisive action.


He believes that if the provincial government does not take effective measures to combat the illicit tobacco industry, the situation will worsen further, and billions of Canadian dollars will flow into the pockets of organized crime groups.


Last week, the provincial government released the public accounts data for the fiscal year 2022-2023. During this period, the province generated $531 million in revenue from cigarette taxes, falling short of the expected $760 million by $229 million. This marks the largest revenue loss in any province since 2013. Additionally, British Columbia set a record for the largest year-over-year decline in cigarette tax revenue among all provinces since 2013.


As Canada's largest tobacco and e-cigarette company, Imperial Tobacco Company is urging the provincial government of British Columbia to immediately establish a specialized enforcement unit to effectively combat the illegal tobacco industry.


Janion said, "Taking firm control over illicit tobacco should become a top priority to prevent further escalation."


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