Native Cigarettes Canada provides a wide selection of high-quality smokes from a variety of tribe-owned brands. These smokes are made with locally sourced burley and flue-cured tobaccos, reducing production costs, which helps keep prices low for consumers. Additionally, Native cigarettes are free from the added chemicals found in most commercial brands, making them a more healthy alternative.

Smoking is not part of most Indigenous cultures, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem. The anti-smoking lobby wants to completely obliterate branding on cigarettes, but that would play directly into the hands of the smugglers, who sell their products in roadside “smoke shacks” on every reserve and in town centres, selling packs of home-made smokes at less than half the price of big-name brands and unbranded loose 200-cigarette bags for even less money.

Understanding the Cultural Significance of Native Cigarettes in Canada

The smuggling business is enormously profitable. A single tractor-trailerload of locally-produced GRE smokes resold at half the price of commercial shops would generate an illicit profit of $2.5 million and a loss to the government’s coffers of nearly double that amount. The profits are a huge incentive for First Nations people to set up manufacturing plants on their reservations, where they are not subject to federal or provincial tax laws.

One such plant is on the Akwesasne reservation near Cornwall, Ontario, which straddles both the US and Canadian borders. A police report states that the majority of illegally smuggled cigarettes seized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police come from there.

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