CAMPBELLTON (GNB) – Enforcement officers with the Department of Justice and Public Safety, in partnership with the Sûreté du Quebec, seized 51,200 illegal cigarettes and 4,980 cans and bottles of beer in the Campbellton area on June 27.

The seizures were the result of traffic check stops during a joint enforcement operation focused on the distribution of illegal tobacco products. The beer seized had not been purchased in New Brunswick.

Tickets were issued under the Tobacco Tax Act and the Liquor Control Act.

The tobacco seizure represents a provincial tax value of about $13,066 and an additional federal tobacco excise tax value of $10,752.

The contraband tobacco market is estimated to represent a revenue loss to the province of $13 million annually.

Revenue from the sale of illegal tobacco is often funneled into organized crime and supports the underground economy in New Brunswick. Illegal tobacco works against government cessation programs and poses a greater risk to increased smoking rates for youth. Smoking is the leading cause of premature death in Canada. Each day, 100 Canadians die of a smoking-related illness.

Anyone with information on the sale and distribution of illegal tobacco is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).