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According to a report by the Western Convenience Stores Association, Manitoba has one of the highest rates of illegal tobacco consumption in Canada.

They say combating illegal tobacco in Manitoba should be a priority for the government.

WCSA Advisor Michele Austin says stricter laws would lower rates of consumption, and give the province additional revenue.
 
"The Western Convenience Stores Association is asking for proactive anti-contraband legislation, which would improve enforcement measures, give more resources to the Ministry of Finance, allow municipalities to prosecute offenses related to illegal cigarettes, and keep the money made from fines.
 
Austin said youth consume illegal tobacco at the highest rates, and it's typically sold to them by gangs. She believes stricter laws would hurt organized crime by reducing their resources.