Canadian Cancer Society Applauds Tobacco Tax Increase in Federal Budget

Society also Welcomes Change to Benefit Charitable Lotteries

TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - A tobacco tax increase of $4 per carton of 200 cigarettes announced in today's federal budget was applauded by the Canadian Cancer Society.

"We strongly support the tobacco tax increase because it will reduce youth smoking and save lives," says Pamela Fralick, President and CEO, Canadian Cancer Society. "Higher tobacco taxes are the single most effective strategy to reduce smoking, especially among youth."

The increase announced today is a much-needed inflation adjustment as there has not been an increase to federal cigarette tax rates since 2002.

The Society also applauded the announcement of $91.7 million over 5 years to help RCMP fight contraband tobacco, which builds on other contraband prevention measures brought forward by provincial and federal governments in recent years.

The Society also welcomed a proposed legislative change that will allow charities to use computers and other modern technologies in their lottery ticket sales and operations. This will reduce administration costs and allow charities to direct more money raised by lotteries to their mission-related activities. For example, presently charities must print and mail lottery tickets, but with the changes announced in the budget they will now be able to send tickets by email.

"This amendment will result in millions of dollars in savings each year for Canadian charities that run lotteries," says Fralick. "These funds can instead be used to support important programs, services and research that will benefit Canadians."

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the Society has the most impact, against the most cancers, in the most communities in Canada. Building on our progress, we are working with Canadians to change cancer forever. For more information, visit cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934).

SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (National Office)

For further information:

Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst
Canadian Cancer Society
613-565-2522, ext. 4981