Key Issues

in Contraband Tobacco

What do we know about the smuggling of cigarettes into Canada?

1. We have the testimony of former RJR-Macdonald executive Les Thompson, and we know details of federal allegations regarding the role of RJR-Macdonald, US-based R.J. Reynolds, and the Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers’ Council. There are media reports of criminal investigations.

2. We have information from the British American Tobacco depository in Guildford, England, on Imperial Tobacco’s role in the smuggling issue.

3. We have correspondence and memos from the files of U.S. tobacco giant Philip Morris with respect to the export of Rothmans, Benson & Hedges brands

4. Industry documents and media reports detail how the Canadian tobacco industry set out to bully governments into lowering taxes

5. We are starting to understand how investigations into cigarette smuggling got off track

6. The tobacco industry continues to use the threat of smuggling in attempts to delay a long-expected tax increase

7. Some arrests have been made relatively far down the smuggling distribution chain

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