There's A Call To Increase The Quebec Tax On Tobacco & Ban Vape Flavours​

Here's how Quebec's tobacco tax compares to the rest of Canada.

Senior Editor
No smoking sign outside an outdoor public space in Montreal.

No smoking sign outside an outdoor public space in Montreal.

Ontario slaps a $0.18475 tax on each cigarette. In Quebec, it's only $0.149 — which, for a carton of 200 cigarettes, amounts to the lowest tobacco tax in Canada. A league of health advocacy groups led by the Coalition québécoise pour le contrôle du tabac (CQCT) wants to close that gap. They're calling on political parties to take up the cause ahead of the Quebec election in October.

They also want a ban on vape flavours, such as mint.

"Our objective is to push the political parties and their candidates to take the bull by the horns to reduce smoking in Quebec more quickly and to reduce the appeal of vaping products to our youth," CQCT co-director Flory Doucas stated in a press release.

The CQCT estimates the number of annual deaths due to smoking-related illnesses or conditions in Quebec is 13,000, a figure that, as Doucas pointed out, dwarfs the scale of fatalities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which, at the time of writing, has killed a total of 16,482 people in the province since 2020.

The coalition also claims that as many as one-third of hospital stays in Quebec are tied to smoking. In total, the burden of tobacco on the province's health system amounts to "$1.20 billion in direct costs and $2.59 billion in indirect costs," according to the organization.

Graph comparing tobacco tax for 200 cigarettes in each Canadian province and territory.Graph comparing tobacco tax for 200 cigarettes in each Canadian province and territory.Coalition québécoise pour le contrôle du tabac

Conseil québécois sur le tabac et la santé Executive Director Annie Papageorgiou is especially concerned about the influence of the emergent vaping culture on youth.

"The lack of regulation of vaping products contributes directly to the emergence of a whole new generation of nicotine consumers," she said.

"Banning all flavours, including mint and menthol, is obvious. We did it for tobacco and we must do it again today for vaping."

"We expect candidates and future elected officials to support this concrete and effective measure."

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