Recent excise increase on cigarettes and vaping products will never result in projected gains

MONTREAL, April 18, 2024 /CNW/ – While anti-tobacco lobby groups are applauding the recent excise increases on cigarettes and vaping products, Imperial Tobacco Canada calls out the federal government’s alleged justification and challenges the Liberal Party of Canada to come clean with their real intentions when it comes to nicotine.

“The federal government needs to stop justifying tobacco tax increases on the back of reducing smoking rates in the country and admit, once and for all, they are addicted to cigarette taxes,” said Eric Gagnon, Vice President, Corporate and Regulatory Affairs for Imperial Tobacco Canada. “Unfortunately, this recent announcement will not increase government revenues, but it will increase an already rampant illegal and untaxed market.”

Currently, one third of cigarettes in Canada are sold illegally and without any taxes. The RCMP has stated that there are more than 175 organized crime groups that are trafficking untaxed and unregulated cigarettes and governments are already losing more than $2.5 billion annually in tax revenues. In addition, every single province and territory missed its tobacco tax revenue forecast in 2022-23 – and most by an enormous margin – due to illegal sales.

“If I’m a province like Ontario, British Columbia or New Brunswick, I’m fuming right now knowing that the federal government is driving consumers to untaxed cigarettes without providing any solutions to address the problem they created nor dedicating any resources on the enforcement of existing regulations,” said Mr. Gagnon. “It may be time for a public inquiry to investigate why this current government continues to overtly support and encourage Canada’s illegal tobacco trade to the benefit of organized crime.”

With vaping, the problem is much more complex. The issue here is that it may deter some adult smokers to switch to a less harmful alternative to cigarettes. If the end goal is to get people off cigarettes, it is crucial vaping products remain affordable to achieve their full harm reduction potential.

“It is clear the federal government is completely disconnected with reality and has no real policy to deal with nicotine products,” said Mr. Gagnon. “Despite facing fiscal constraints, this government continues to spend beyond its means, consistently burdening nicotine users with increased taxes to cover its deficit. Canadian nicotine users should keep this in mind when electing the next government.”

About Imperial Tobacco Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada is Canada’s leading tobacco and nicotine products company and is part of the world’s most international tobacco group: BAT. BAT is a global multi-category consumer goods business, operating in over 180 markets. Our vision is to build A Better Tomorrow™ by reducing the health impact of our business through offering a greater choice of enjoyable and less risky products for our consumers.

SOURCE Imperial Tobacco Canada


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World Reviewer Staff
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