They Are More Than Cheap Cigarettes #StopIllegalTobacco

There is a dark corner in our cities that we all may be naive of. Today, I plan on lighting up that dark corner so you can know the truth about those cheap cigarettes that are bought.

I’ve heard about cheap cigarettes people are buying. I thought nothing about it besides “yuck what are they rolling up in those cigarettes that make them so cheap?

If something seems too good to be true, watch out there is more to the story. #StopIllegalTobacco Click To Tweet

I can’t tell you what’s rolled up in those cheap cigarettes people are smoking. But I can tell you what their hard earn money is supporting with each puff they take.

Cheap Cigarettes, illegal Cigarettes, #StopIllegalTobacco, They Are More Than Cheap Cigarettes, Quit Smoking

Funding Criminal Activity

You’d be surprised to know in Canada, the production and sale of contraband cigarettes are on the rise. There are over 50 illegal factories across Ontario and Quebec, capable of producing up to 10,000 cigarettes every minute.

Yes, 10,000 illegal cigarettes are produced every minute! 

These contraband cigarettes are distributed by organized crime groups across our country. Most noteworthy, Ontario has the second highest rate of illegal tobacco sales in the Americas after Panama.

Our beautiful Ontario? I am in denial. I had no clue it had these dark secrets.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad #StopIllegalTobacco Click To Tweet

What makes my stomach turn is knowing profits from illegal tobacco fund gun and drug trafficking in both rural and urban areas. These crimes happen right here in our own backyards.

We both are reading the stories in our local newspaper, hearing them on our local radio channel, and chances are along with me you are shaking your head in disbelief.

How can these crimes be happening in the same city we call home?

If you are saving money on contraband cigarettes, know you are supporting organized crime groups in your city.

          Watch to learn more:        


The highly profitable sale of illegal cigarettes funds criminal activities in your city. Illegal activities, including drug and gun trafficking. Which benefits approximately 175 organized crime groups and gangs in Canada (nearly half of which are based in central Canada).

  • The estimated cost of a bag of 200 illegal cigarettes in Ontario is $15.
  • They estimate that 15 million cartons of illegal cigarettes are consumed in Ontario.
  • For an estimated total gross profit from illegal tobacco, totaling $75 million dollars annually.

That means $75 million dollars is pumped into organized crime yearly.

If you are not surprised enough here is another stat that blows my mind. Approximately 1 in 3 cigarettes purchased in Ontario are illegal. Compared to 1 in 10 in Canada’s other provinces.

Yes, you read that right 1 in 3 cigarettes purchased and smoked in Ontario are illegal!

Power is gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it! #StopIllegalTobacco Click To Tweet

Find out how you can help visit -> <- | Join the conversation, use the hashtag #StopIllegalTobacco |

@StopContraband on Twitter | Stop Illegal Tobacco on Facebook

Thank you for reading In R Dream!

Although this post is sponsored. opinions are my own.


  1. kathy downey says:

    ! Interesting article! It’s such a problem.

  2. That was a very informative article. Thanks for all the details you provided.

  3. Tiffany Rotulo says:

    Wow, very informative. I had no idea the impact it had.

  4. Anne-Marie Tvete says:

    I had no idea that it funds gun and drug trafficking. Great and informative article.

  5. lori butler says:

    I had no idea that the issue was so bad.

  6. I had no idea Ontario had so many illegal cigarette sales. Sad that smoking is still so prevalent in general. No one benefits except cigarette companies.

  7. BobbiJo pentney says:

    Oh wow, I did not know that this was going on.

  8. Juliee Fitze says:

    So glad I stopped smoking years ago so I’m not tempted to buy them.

  9. I had no idea that illegal cigarettes were such a problem

  10. Wendy hutton says:

    I had no idea about this going on, and yes it should be stopped

  11. Michelle Policelli says:

    Great article!! i had no idea

  12. Great article! Wow what an eye-opener.

  13. I agree with this post 100% I tell everyone and some people just don’t care or don’t believe it

  14. Amanda Fontaine says:

    Smoking in general is disgusting, yes I said it. I quit smoking 11.5 years ago and I am ssoo glad I did so. It is crazy what amounts some people will go through to get cheap unregulated cigarettes. *sigh*

  15. Jennifer P. says:

    Wow, I had no idea that illegal cigarettes were such a problem! Thankfully no one in my family smokes anymore (my sisters, Dad and stepmom all did for years and years and years), although I know they were not supporting the illegal market but I am still relieved for their health!

  16. Thanks for the info! I’m really glad the hubby and I quit smoking a few years back. With the continually rising price, it’s easy to see why people opt for illegal cigarettes and don’t necessarily realize the consequences.

  17. Way too many illegal cigarettes out on the streets for sure. Hopefully this get some people away from the idea of buying illegal cigarettes.

  18. ERIN MCSWEENEY says:


  19. Wow I wasn’t aware that 1 in 3 box of cigarettes are sold illegally! I’m still surprised people are still smoking despite the changes we have made. I can’t even remember the last time I saw someone smoke indoors.

  20. I had no idea that illegal cigarettes were such a problem. I have never smoked and don’t normally pay to much attention to what is going on with cigarettes.

  21. The natives are not supost to sell cigs to white people but they do. They make millions a year. The law should crack down on them but they can not practis the law on a reserve. So they wait for the white people to come of the reserve and bust them. The natives should loose their right to sell it.

  22. I had no idea there was so much illegal smokes in ONtario

  23. Ronald Gagnon says:

    We all know the dangers of smoking..but the excesses you have made known are rarely known

  24. lisa bolduc says:

    wowo I had no idea the ratio of illegal cigarette smokers in Ontario is 1 to 3. wow

  25. Kim Stenner says:

    I know this is a big problem in my area. I know several people that buy illegal smokes all the time.

  26. Brenda Penton says:

    I used to buy these cheap, illegal cigarettes when I smoked (I quit 5 years ago). I was ignorant and didn’t know better and didn’t understand why they were so bad. The news outlets would publish when there were confiscations but would never really give details on why, I had just assumed that it was because the government wasn’t making money from them. I’m glad to see the information is now out there…the truth of what is going on.

  27. heather sibley says:

    I didn’t realize that this was such an issue in Canada. I quit smoking ten years ago and never looked back.

  28. I’m very happy to say I’m not a smoker. I was completely unaware of all this. Holy cow!

  29. Looks like it is such a big problem in Ontario, Hopefully there are ways to solve it, probably, quit smoking is the best solution.

  30. While I never knew the stats on illegal cigarettes, I just assume most “grey area” or illegal purchases are supporting crime in some way. The deal you are getting is hurting someone else somewhere. 🙁

  31. I have to admit that I am always surprised when people think buying contraband anything doesn’t support anything good.

  32. Erin Wilson says:

    I didn’t know this was such a big problem. Thanks for bringing it to light!

  33. Interesting read! Thanks for posting.

  34. I had no idea that 10,000 illegal cigarettes are produced every minute.. That is insane.

  35. Clair Palmer says:

    thanks for the information, I’m glad I quit 5 years ago, but I was one of them who would buy cheaper smokes, it was a drive but at the time I didn’t care, now I dont have to worry

  36. All I need to say is I’m glad I quit smoking!! but sadly my husband hasn’t and he still buys his smokes on the reserve, it’s a lot cheaper he only pays 8.00 for a carton compared to the price in the stores, I keep bugging him to quit but he just won’t listen!!

  37. was not really aware of the problem! Interesting article!

  38. sabina Edwards says:

    Honestly, most people I know just go to the garage on 20th street because its part of the urban reserve, and get their cigerattes cheap that way. I’m always surprised that in todays age anyone still can actually afford to smoke.

  39. Melissa Black says:

    I used to smoke, so glad I quit!!

  40. I had no idea this was a huge issue. I would not put up with anyone I know buying illegal cigarettes.

  41. Wow, I had no idea this was such an issue. I quit smoking over 10 years ago and haven’t looked back.

  42. Karla Sceviour says:

    Wow,I did not realize all this was going on. Thanks for the info.

  43. Joanne Saunders says:

    Smoking is bad for you even if it’s legal. STOP smoking now.

  44. Cheryl MacPhail says:

    Crazy how much illegal cigarettes are out there!!

  45. Darwin Chau says:

    This is an important topic to discuss openly. Smoking is bad, regardless where you get your cigarettes from, but buying cheap cigarettes only means you support other illegal activities that we are all against.

  46. Brenda Witherspoon-Bedard says:

    I wasnt aware of this problem

  47. josephine evans says:

    Interesting read. I will share with my friends.

  48. Wendy hutton says:

    wow I did not know this, when I seen the headline illegal tobacco the first thing I thought of was stolen cigarettes

  49. Wow!! I really had no clue that illegal cigarettes were such a huge issue and the impact that purchasing them has! I imagine people are just trying to save a buck and dont realize the implications.

  50. I learned a lot by reading this. I didn’t realize how big of a problem this is!

  51. Wow 75 million dollars pumped into organized crime! That’s a lot of money that could be used for much better uses.

  52. It amazes me how many people I know that buy their smokes from the reservations and it scares me that they have no idea what they are smoking!

  53. Anne-Marie Tvete says:

    I did not realize where the profits were going. I am en ex smoker and will admit I purchased cigs from the Indian reserve which I believe did not have to pay the taxes on them.

  54. sarah alexis says:

    This says it all:
    I am so grateful to learn about these important issues. Share Share Share!!!!

  55. Carole Dube says:

    It’a happening in Alberta too, I think they are $25 per carton here.. I always though they were from the Indian reserve and they don’t pay tax there and that’s why they were so cheap. But even if that was true it’s still illegal. I didn’t realise if was pumped into crime organisation. I think the government should lower the tax on tobacco and by lowering the price of cigarette it would stop people from buying illegal cigarette.

  56. They have a big problem with illegal cigarette stands close to where we live, The government doesn’t seem to do much to shut them down here.

  57. LILLIAN BROWN says:

    people do not realize just where the money goes when they buy these cigarettes, the crime they are possibly funding, and the taxes we are losing.

  58. This is really scary! The cost of cigarettes and the ease of finding the illegal cigarettes makes it so hard to stop!

  59. Wow, I had no idea. No one in my family smokes. I hate that stuff like this goes on supporting the gangs and organized crime. They need to be stopped

  60. I had no idea that this was happening to this extent and what the funds went towards!

  61. Doris Calvert says:

    I knew it’s a ig problem in Canada because at $15 a pack they are expensive, so people will buy them to save money on them which are mainly taxes that are paid to the government. I have never heard that the money goes towards other crime though orthat itwas such a huge problem, thanks for the post.

  62. Darlene Schuller says:

    I really don’t believe people realize just ‘where’ the money goes when they buy these cigarettes, the crime they are possibly funding.

    Thank you for the informative post.

  63. smoking is bad not matter what……but who only knows what they’re putting in those illegal smokes.

  64. Very interesting story. I never new that it was such a problem.

  65. violet taylor says:

    when i used to smoke i bought all sorts of “Deals” and never realized. really glad i quit now!

  66. I am surprise at the number of people who buy the illegal products and donating that way to organized crime.

  67. Tara Betterley says:

    Love this post. My father has been a long time smoker and I really wish he could quit.
    I found that having illegal smokes is just worse as you never know what they contain and it could be doing more harm and that the funds are going to organized crimes.

  68. I really hate smoking and my dad is a long term smoker and was diagnosed with lung cancer three years ago. Everyone should quite smoking for the sake of their own health and for their family.

  69. I did not know this even happened in Canada. I do understand that people who do purchase these cigarettes probably do not even realize they are supporting organized crime. I am hoping as more information is put out there for the public to read there will be a backlash for more to be done and shut down these illegal factories.

  70. I know some people get them from the reserves. Some work places have one guy to go to the reserve get a ton of cig. and sell them at work so they get theirs for free. The reservations are not suppost to sell to white people? They make a fortune it is amazing

  71. Carol Denny says:

    I quit smoking 30 years ago. So glad I did.

  72. Debbie Bashford says:

    Unfortunately with the cost of living going up and most salaries not, people will look for ways to save money and not care about the consequences. I quit smoking 5 years ago and it was an expensive habit then, Had no idea it was a $75 million dollar problem though.

  73. when i used to smoke i never bought contraband cigs. my dad however would always buy them because it was cheaper and didn’t care where it came from. very ignorant of him if you ask me.

  74. Diana Corlett says:

    This is the first indication I’ve had about the source of illegal cigarettes. Shocking, indeed. Perhaps the information will dry up at least some of the market?

  75. Smoking is discusting on so many levels. We live in a province with one of the highest smoker rates. I just people would quit. Problem solved.

  76. Alison Braidwood says:

    Smoking is a filthy habit, even with legal cigarettes. The illegal, crime-promoting versions make a bad habit so much worse.

  77. No one in my immediate family smokes, (5 adults) so we have never participated in purchasing illegal tobacco products. I am not surprised that it generates $75 million to organized crime. This is certainly something to think about.

  78. I didn’t realize that this was such an issue these days. I figured it was an issue of the past.

  79. Victoria Ess says:

    Wow, I’m surprised it’s worse in Ontario.

  80. ivy pluchinsky says:

    Such a great article, had no idea it was such a bad issue!

  81. I never really knew how bad the problem was….that is crazy how much money goes into organized crime because of it. Definitely something we need to be more aware of.

  82. I remember this being an issue in the small area I grew up in but I didn’t know it was still prevalent today. I’m sure many buyers of illegal tobacco just think they’re saving some money and don’t make the connection that they are helping gangs buy guns and drugs. Such a shame!

  83. Amy Heffernan says:

    WOW! I had no clue it was so bad.

  84. I’m so glad that my husband quit smoking years ago. It’s crazy to think that $75 million dollars is pumped into organized crime yearly. WOW!

  85. Thanks for the information, I never knew how much of an issue this was until recently

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