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More than 5 million illegal cigarettes seized in BC last year, saving the province $1.4 million in tax revenue

Millions of illegal cigarettes

More than five million illegal cigarettes were taken off the streets last year in British Columbia.

The seizure of these cigarettes saved the province $1.4 million in potential taxation revenue loss which can now be put towards services and programs such as health care, infrastructure and education.

Undercover investigations led to the seizure of illegal tobacco which was carried out by local law enforcement agencies. Retail outlets are also regularly inspected by the Ministry of Finance's Consumer Taxation Audit Branch to ensure they are not selling contraband products.

Surrey, Vancouver and Kelowna are the top three cities where the most tobacco was seized.

Approximately 3.6 million cigarettes were seized in Surrey, following by 1.6 million in Vancouver and 82,000 in Kelowna.

The province has strict regulations for the sale, purchase, possession and transportation of tobacco. Illegal products include cigarettes that aren't stamped or marked properly or legal products that are sold illegally. 



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