In Ontario, Canada, the story is even more absurd. Tobacconists, the first people in the money chain to be hit by illegal imports of tobacco, have been ordered to remove educational posters warning their customers of the presence of illegal tobacco in the community and its harmful effects. The logic of the Middlesex–London Health Unit runs thus:
“They are promoting tobacco use. They are promoting a product. In essence the materials really say, ‘Don’t buy illegal tobacco, we here happen to have legal tobacco for sale’,” said Linda Stobo, program manager for tobacco control with MLHU.Of course that's exactly what the posters say. How could I possibly think otherwise?
Incredibly the report adds: 'No charges have been laid at any London store because of the posters.' Charges laid! The report gives the indignant President of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association a fair hearing and notes the distress of some of the traders who have been forced to remove their posters.
I'm not a gambler, but I wouldn't bet on illicit tobacco going out of fashion any time soon.