The Canadian Cancer Society applauded the federal government Thursday is a news release for introducing a tax increase on roll-your-own tobacco in the latest federal budget. The increase addresses something they have called a long-standing loop-hole in tobacco taxation.

“We welcome this increase because higher tobacco taxes are the most effective way to reduce tobacco use among Canadians, especially for young people who will be less likely to buy higher priced tobacco products,” says Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society. “This budget measure will mean that fewer Canadians will smoke, which will mean fewer Canadians will die from tobacco-related cancers.”

Effective March 22, the rate of excise duty on roll-your-own tobacco and other types of manufactured tobacco will increase to $5.31 per 50 grams from the previous tax of $2.89 per 50 grams.  The Cancer Society says this will “address a loop-hole” where the tax rate for these types of tobacco products has been much less than for cigarettes.

Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable disease and death in Canada causing 37,000 Canadian deaths each year. Smoking causes about 30% of all cancer deaths in Canada and is guilty in about 85% of lung cancer cases.

SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Society (National Office)

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