Heart & Stroke applauds Ontario government for opting into vape tax

Provincial plans to join federal government's tax will help protect Ontario's youth from the harms of vaping

Heart & Stroke celebrates the Ontario government's commitment to opt into the federal government's excise tax on vaping, as outlined in their fall economic statement released Thursday afternoon.

The federal tax, which was announced in fall of 2022, is a collaborative excise duty on vape e-liquids that enables provinces and territories to add their own duty equivalent to the federal levy. The policy will not only increase the price to help deter consumption across the province, but will also generate approximately $49.4 million in annual revenue, which can be reinvested into key areas such as the healthcare system and disease prevention.

"Taxation is one of the more effective policy measures to reduce consumption and it is particularly impactful among price-sensitive youth. In Ontario, vape starter packs retail for around $10 making them highly accessible," says Dr. Lesley James, Director, Health Policy & Systems, Ontario at Heart & Stroke. "We've seen through tobacco control efforts that an increase in price prevents initiation and increases quit rates. Preliminary results from other regions show a similar outcome, with vape rates among youth declining after a vape tax is implemented."

In Ontario, 21.5% of students in grades 10 to 12 report current vaping. Vape products have been found to stunt brain development and reduce concentration and memory in students and there is growing evidence that vaping increases one's risk for respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. More recently, research has linked vaping to poor mental health outcomes, including depression and anxiety. Ontario is also one of the only provinces in the country where vaping rates amongst youth in grades 7 to 9 have increased over time, showcasing the alarming reality of how early Ontarians' addiction to nicotine and toxic vape chemicals can begin.

Since vape devices came into the marketplace about a decade ago, Heart & Stroke has heard from many concerned Ontarians—including parents, teachers, students, physicians and researchers—who have expressed worry over youth vaping. They will be happy to see Ontario joining the federal government agreement and aligning with existing policies in most provinces and territories.

British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia have already instituted a provincial tax on vaping products, while several other provinces and territories have indicated interest in entering into agreements with the federal government. There are almost 100 jurisdictions around the world who have adopted a vape tax as a means to deter vape use.

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

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Kim Rupnarain
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