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Increased fines, enforcement and training will improve public safety

TORONTO, ON, March 26, 2024 – Milena Trentadue, Managing Director, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. (RBH), and Danny Fournier, Manager Illicit Trade Prevention, RBH, issued the following statement today, in response to the Government of Ontario’s Budget 2024.

“By increasing fines, expanding enforcement, and implementing new training for police officers, Ontario is taking the lead in Canada’s fight against contraband tobacco. These common sense steps, recommended by RBH in its 2024 budget submission, will have a big impact by slowing the continued growth of the contraband tobacco market, keeping cigarettes out of the hands of kids, and improving public safety.” 

“Contraband tobacco is not a victimless crime, it hurts small business owners who follow the rules and makes our communities less safe. Contraband is controlled by and directly funds organized crime, including gun and drug trafficking, while increasing the risk of youth access to cigarettes. Simply put, criminals selling illegal tobacco are not checking ID.”

“Potentially one out of every two cigarettes, or 39 to 50 per cent of tobacco sales in Ontario are illegal, according to a recent report by Ernst and Young and the Convenience Industry Council of Canada. Ontario’s contraband tobacco market could represent up to $1.7 billion in lost provincial tobacco tax revenue from 2019 to 2023 that should be funding vital government services.”

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About Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc.

Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. (RBH), an affiliate of Philip Morris International Inc., is one of Canada’s leading tobacco and nicotine companies and is working to deliver a smoke-free future. RBH is committed to sustainability and creating a positive impact on communities, the economy, and the environment. Currently, RBH employs nearly 800 people across the country with its headquarters in Toronto and a factory in Québec City. Discover more about the company at and stay updated on RBH’s transformation by following Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media Inquiries:

Media Relations
Brayden Akers, Media Relations Lead