Native Cigarettes Canada – Fighting Back Against Anti-Smoking Activists

Native Cigarettes Canada, tobacco use is pervasive. It increases the risk of ear infections, SIDS, respiratory illnesses and cancer. It is also linked to lower academic achievement and depression, both of which are important predictors for addiction initiation. In addition to low self-esteem and family support, trauma from colonization can contribute to the onset of smoking. In the face of these complexities, it is essential that Indigenous tobacco cessation initiatives be tailored to the unique needs of each community.

In the last few years, a few First Nations communities have set up their own tobacco manufacturing plants on their reserves. They produce the cheap Native smokes that are decried by anti-smoking activists, non-native politicians and the mainstream tobacco industry. But they are popular with young smokers, especially the adolescent demographic, because of their taste profile and cultural connection to traditional smoking.

Comparing Varieties: Different Types of Native Cigarettes in Canada”

The First Nations producers are fighting back, arguing that they should be allowed to sell their cigarettes off the reserve and at prices comparable with those charged in the rest of the country. High tobacco taxes are one of the factors that help to keep smoking rates in Canada at very low levels.

But the fight will take time, and it will be complicated by the fact that smuggling is incredibly common. For example, Toronto police recently laid 264 charges of selling to underage buyers, and most of those cases involved smuggled cigarettes. The federal, provincial and HST taxes that are lost through smuggling amount to about $3.3 million a year.