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Health Unit welcomes tobacco tax hike

The Hastings Prince Edward Public Health welcomes the tobacco tax increase and investment in smoking cessation programming announced in last week’s Ontario budget.

Provincial tobacco taxes will be increased by $3 per carton of 200 cigarettes effective immediately, with future annual increases for the next five years to be indexed to the inflation rate.

“Tobacco control advocates have long known that raising tobacco taxes is the single most effective way to reduce tobacco use, especially among youth,” said Roberto Almeida, Tobacco Control Manager at HPEPH. “Although we would have liked to have seen a bigger tax hike, we are very pleased that the provincial government has responded to calls from public health and others to raise tobacco taxes.”

“Ontario has one of the lowest tobacco taxes rates in the country, with an average carton costing around $90, compared to $133 in Manitoba, the Canadian jurisdiction with the highest tax rates. The increase will help bridge the gap,” added Almeida.

The higher tax revenues will fund efforts to further control the contraband tobacco market and finance a $5 million reinvestment in smoking cessation programming aimed at helping smokers in certain priority populations.

“We are an organization long committed to providing smoking cessation services to the communities we serve and, as such are pleased to see this reinvestment in cessation programming, which will help Ontario smokers who need it most,” stated Dr. Richard Schabas, Medical Officer of Health for HPEPH. “We look forward to aligning our cessation services with new provincial cessation programming.”

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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    Mark makes an excellent point. I think that I am partly responsible for this topic being discussed on this site – I responded to a question asking about the deadline for the OMB appeal. Let’s hope that “countylive” has a story on this soon, so we know where to look for comments. This appeal should be an interesting process to watch. I for one will be cheering on Pierre Klein in his appeal.

  2. Mark says:

    Surprised this huge news has not been posted by Countylive and is being responded to under a Health Unit story.

  3. Fred says:

    The news article is on Quinte News. The Mayor warned Council that this would probably occur. My take is that the County will have a difficult time defending their by-law and how that decision was arrived at.

  4. Gary says:

    I hope Council is unclothed for all to see their shananigans with this issue. Some are going to look pretty bad especially since they will now pass the OMB costs onto the ratepayers that they betrayed!

  5. Susan says:

    That is great news for democracy! Hope the individual sets up a fund so we can all assist.

  6. Dennis Fox says:

    Hey Susan and the rest of the gang on countylive – a PEC resident has filed for an OMB appeal re: Ward Boundaries – it was on the radio today! If we get the opportunity to help this guy, we should – he is doing this on our behave and I wish him well!

  7. Susan says:

    Thanks Dennis. I was just curious. I would not phone Shire Hall for anything.

  8. Dennis Fox says:

    Susan – I am sorry I haven’t checked this site in awhile and I just read your questions re: OMB filing deadline. The last I heard is that the deadline for filing an appeal was March 11th – but you should check that out with the Municipality.

  9. Susan says:

    Dennis, since we can’t post any longer on Council size!, I chose to interupt this discussion to get a deadline date for an OMB appeal on the Council Size bylaw?

  10. wevil says:

    this will increase the sales of indian smokes if there was a tax on government stupidity we would not have to pay any taxes

  11. Mark says:

    Wind turbines? Hopefully!

  12. Dennis Fox says:

    I quit smoking 6 years ago and haven’t had any urge to re-start. The reason that I mention this is to assure anyone reading that I don’t have a vested interest in this smoking tax. What I do have an interest in is a government that waste so much money already and have no idea of how to balance a budget! Taxing seniors’s prescriptions, a carbon tax or tobacco just shows how limited they are in their thinking for solutions. Taxing the little guy is not going to change how government spends – forget the “improving your health” argument -if Wynne cared about our health, her government wouldn’t be closing hospitals. No, I’m not defending smokers – but I hate seeing people taxed on anything, particularly when our government will just waste it – and on what? Wind turbines?

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