Heart & Stroke Foundation 

Apr 07, 2022, 20:37 ET

A tax on vaping products will help keep them out of the reach of youth

OTTAWA, ON, April 7, 2022 /CNW/ –  Heart & Stroke is pleased to see several health promoting elements in the 2022 federal budget, including a tax on vape products, a continued commitment to pharmacare and improving access to nutritious food in schools through a National School Food Policy.

Youth vaping is a crisis as one in five grade 7– 12 students in Canada vape. A recent Heart & Stroke funded study on youth vaping behaviour and preferences revealed that vaping products are highly affordable for young people.

“Higher prices will make vape products less affordable to youth and therefore less accessible to them,” says Doug Roth, CEO, Heart & Stroke. “Youth deserve to be protected from these addictive products and increasing taxes is one of the most effective ways to do this.”

The excise tax on vaping products will take effect on October 1, 2022. In the budget, the federal government also invited its provincial and territorial counterparts to join a coordinated vaping taxation framework, under which an additional duty equal to the proposed federal rate would be applied.

Heart & Stroke hopes to see additional measures announced soon to further protect youth such as banning vape flavours that are attractive to youth, including mint and menthol. Flavours entice young people to start vaping and to keep vaping.

The stated recommitment to developing a national pharmacare program by tabling a Canada Pharmacare bill by 2023 and the development of a national formulary and bulk purchasing plan are also welcome. Pharmacare is an essential part of healthcare, and 7.5 million Canadians have insufficient or no drug coverage.

A focus on healthy public policies is more important than ever as the pandemic has posed significant challenges to many, including people living with chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke and their caregivers.