The Canadian Lung Association applauds the federal government’s renewed focus on the lung health of Canadians. The budget released April 19thshows the federal government’s focus on the health and well-being of Canadians. The 2021 Budget includes strong tobacco control measures, such as a tobacco and vaping taxes well as a focus on a green economy. .
“It is promising to see this budget truly focusing on the well-being of Canadians,” says Terry Dean, president and CEO, The Canadian Lung Association. “Issues such as vaping have long needed strong action.”
The Canadian Lung Association has been advocating for a tax on vaping products since 2019. Taxes are one of the most effective ways to prevent youth uptake of these highly addictive products. Canada is facing a youth vaping epidemic with 14 per cent of high school aged youth vaping in the last 30 days. These measures are an important step in curbing the rise in youth use. Further measures including reduced nicotine maximums and a comprehensive flavour ban will be equally important.
“We need to get our head out of the vape cloud and show it for what it is: a product that drives youth towards a life-long nicotine addiction and lung damage. Vaping tax is a great step towards protecting Canada’s youth,” Dean adds.
The Canadian Lung Association is equally as pleased to see that there will be an increase in tobacco product taxation.
“While we are disappointed that the long-awaited announcement regarding a tobacco strategy cost recovery fee has not been included in this year’s budget, we are happy to see the increase of taxation on tobacco products,” Dean adds.
Tobacco remains one of the leading causes of preventable disease and death in Canada, killing 45,000 Canadians each year. 4.7 million Canadians still smoke, measures like the additional tax of $4 on a carton of cigarettes will work to prevent more youth from starting.
The 2021 budget also acknowledged the growing threat on Canadians’ lung health due to air pollution. Included within this budget is$17.6 billion towards a green recovery to create jobs, build a clean economy, and fight and protect against climate change.
“I think it’s safe to say that the past year has given all of a pause to reflect on the importance of breathing. We mustn’t forget the role that air pollution plays in that.”
Almost 15,000 Canadian deaths are attributed to air pollution annually. Those living with lung disease may experience a worsening of symptoms as a result.The climate crisis affects the lung health of all Canadians.
Dedicated economic recovery through investments in clean energy sources and zero emission vehicles will workto address air pollution and help Canada reach our commitments to reduce emissions. The Canadian Lung Association will continue to work with the government to ensure we protect the quality of our air, both indoors and out.