08/28/2013 02:22 EDT | Updated 10/28/2013 05:12 EDT

Illegal cigarettes still a problem in New Brunswick: convenience store study

RIVERVIEW, N.B. - The Atlantic Convenience Stores Association has released a new study that suggests the sale of illegal tobacco remains a big problem in New Brunswick.

Association president Mike Hammoud says the association hired a Montreal-based research firm that collected more than 3,000 cigarette butts from 23 locations across the province.

The firm found that, on average, 15.7 per cent of the butts were from contraband cigarettes.

The butts were collected in June from locations in Grand Falls, Edmunston, Miramichi, Moncton, Oromocto, Fredericton, Sussex, Rexton and Saint John.

At one location in Grand Falls, 40.8 per cent of the butts were contraband, and the rate was almost 20 per cent at 10 school sites.

By comparison, the incidence of illegal smokes in a similar Nova Scotia study was 14.3 per cent.