Media Release

Canadian Cancer Society commends tobacco tax and e-cigarette tax increases in federal budget 


The Canadian Cancer Society commends the increases in taxes on tobacco and e-cigarettes in today’s federal budget.  The budget increases tobacco taxes by $4.00 per carton of 200 cigarettes effective at midnight, and increases e-cigarette taxes by 12% effective July 1, 2024.   

“Increasing tobacco taxes is the most effective strategy to reduce smoking, especially among youth,” says Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). “We applaud the tobacco tax increase in the budget. Every increase makes a difference to reduce tobacco use, the leading preventable cause of disease and death in Canada, including about 30% of all cancer deaths. The tobacco tax increase is a win-win, improving both public health and public revenue.” 

The increase in the e-cigarette tax will help protect young people in light of high rates of youth vaping. In the 2021-2022 school year, among high school students in grades 10-12 in Canada, 24% of youth were vaping, compared with 9% seven years earlier.  The amount of the e-cigarette tax increase, 12%, roughly matches inflation since the existing e-cigarette tax rate was initially proposed in Budget 2021.  

“The tax increase for e-cigarettes will help prevent youth vaping,” adds Cunningham. “While we have made progress to reduce youth smoking, we now have a new generation of youth becoming addicted to nicotine through e-cigarettes, something that should not be happening.”  

CCS also welcomes the Budget 2024 measure to amend the Food and Drugs Act to restrict the marketing of nicotine pouches, products that are addictive and appealing to youth.  

Everything possible must be done to reduce tobacco use, and consequently cancer incidence and deaths. The tax measures in the budget complement other federal government tobacco control measures including tobacco plain packaging and health warnings, and cost recovery fee legislation for tobacco and vaping companies. 

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in Canada, killing 46,000 Canadians each year, including about 30% of all cancer deaths. Based on 2022 data, there are still 3.8 million Canadians who smoke, representing 12% of the population aged 12+. An enormous amount of work needs to be done to achieve the objective of under 5% of Canadians using tobacco by 2035. 

Important start to national pharmacare 
Today’s budget also included expanded prescription coverage for contraceptives and diabetes drugs, as a first step towards national pharmacare. While this move will help to close some gaps in our healthcare system, we need to continue to make tangible progress towards a national pharmacare program because it will improve the lives of people in Canada with cancer who need affordable drugs throughout their cancer experience regardless of where they live or work.  

Research & innovation
We also welcome the additional investments to support Canadian researchers. This is an important boost to ignite Canada’s investment in health and research, which is critical towards supporting cancer research and innovation. This investment reflects feedback from the research community to modernize the research ecosystem in Canada.  


About the Canadian Cancer Society 
The Canadian Cancer Society works tirelessly to save and improve lives. We raise funds to fuel the brightest minds in cancer research. We provide a compassionate support system for all those affected by cancer, across Canada and for all types of cancer. Together with patients, supporters, donors and volunteers, we work to create a healthier future for everyone. Because to take on cancer, it takes all of us. It takes a society. 

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit today.


For more information, please contact:  
Rob Cunningham
Senior Policy Analyst
Canadian Cancer Society