(Ottawa – April 19, 2021) Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada welcomes the measures included in today’s federal budget to increase taxes on tobacco products and to implement a new tax on vaping products.
“These are long overdue and important steps to help protect Canadian children,” said Cynthia Callard, Executive Director. “Tobacco products in Canada are more affordable than in most developed countries, and vaping products are even cheaper than cigarettes. These low prices facilitate the addiction of new users and discourage quitting attempts by those who have already been trapped by this harmful industry.”
The federal budget proposes a $4 per carton increase on cigarettes with equivalent increases for other tobacco products. It commits to a new excise category for vaping products, proposing a minimum tax of $1 / ml or fraction there of.
The cigarette tax should increase the price of budget brands in Ontario from about $10 per pack to about $10.40, and in Quebec to about a dollar less. “Sadly, the governments of Canada’s two largest provinces failed to raise taxes in their most recent budgets, which makes the federal move today all the more important,” said Callard.
In their pre-budgetary submission, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada and other organizations had called for the federal government to address the unequal protection for young people across Canada by setting a minimum federal tax, to end the ability of tobacco companies to sell discount cigarettes, and to impose a regulatory charge on tobacco manufacturers.
“While we regret that these additional measures were not included in the budget, we look forward to working with the federal government to implement them through alternative routes,” said Ms. Callard. “The measures introduced today are a significant step forward for public health in Canada.”