2024 Ontario budget proposes funding to reinforce tobacco and vape controls

Heart & Stroke looks forward to these first steps to improve Ontarians’ health

Today, the Government of Ontario confirmed its commitment to address much-needed tobacco and vape controls in the province with funding outlined in the 2024 Ontario budget. 

Provincial funding will notably include a new fine category to target the highest risk tobacco contraband offenders—the first update to the Tobacco Tax Act (TTA) in over 10 years. Increasing fines is a welcomed first step to addressing contraband tobacco sales and creates an opportunity for new revenue to be reinvested into ongoing tobacco and vape control strategies, which are in critical need of increased capacity. 

“Heart & Stroke is encouraged to see the Government of Ontario has included some broad strokes to address tobacco and vape use in our province in today’s budget,” says Dr. Lesley James, director of Ontario health policy and systems at Heart & Stroke. “We welcome the new measures to address contraband tobacco and look forward to working with the government on upstream measures to tackle tobacco and vaping rates as nicotine products continue to undermine public health progress.”

The new budget will also seek to build on the government’s earlier adoption of a provincial vape tax in November 2023 by funding the installation of vape detectors in Ontario schools. This effort will help to address the concerning rates of vaping among youth. 

“Vaping continues to be a crisis among Ontario youth, and we appreciate the investment in school infrastructure,” says James. “The implementation of vape detectors supplemented with better cessation supports could aid young people in quitting these harmful and addictive products.” 

Tobacco-related measures outlined in the 2024 Ontario budget also include the enhanced enforcement of unmarked tobacco seizures and increased police training and education on the Tobacco Tax Act (TTA). 

About Heart & Stroke 

Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why Heart & Stroke has been leading the fight to beat heart disease and stroke for 70 years. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so Canadians don’t miss out on precious moments. Together, we are working to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery through research, health promotion and public policy. Heartandstroke.ca @HeartandStroke

For more information and interview requests, please contact:

Kim Rupnarain 
Communications advisor Ontario, Heart & Stroke