Budget includes tobacco tax increase, measures around unregulated tobacco, $15 million for palliative and end of life care and $650 million for home care.
TORONTO, March 28, 2018 /CNW/ - The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is pleased with the Ontario government's 2018 budget, which includes increases to provincial tobacco taxes, as well as measures around unregulated tobacco, a commitment of $15 million to palliative and end of life care for 2018-19 and $650 million to support home care over the next three years.
CCS is encouraged by the $4.00 per carton increase in tobacco taxes to take effect as of midnight tonight, an increase that had been announced in the 2017 Ontario budget and that is now being implemented. Also welcomed were additional measures regarding unregulated tobacco.
"Higher tobacco taxes are the most effective strategy to reduce smoking, especially among teenagers who have less disposable income," says Kelly Gorman, Senior Manager, Public Issues, Canadian Cancer Society. "The implementation of this tobacco tax increase will reduce smoking, prevent cancer and save lives."
Tobacco products are the leading preventable cause of disease and death in Ontario, causing about 30% of all cancer deaths. CCS offers a number of programs to help smokers quit, including Smokers' Helpline.
CCS also expressed support for the budget's support of palliative, end of life, and home care.
"CCS is encouraged by the funds committed to support palliative and end of life care in 2018-19, as well as $650 million to support home care over the next three years," Kelly Gorman, Senior Manager, Public Issues Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario.
The budget did not include specific measures around access to take-home cancer drugs for Ontarians between the ages of 25-64.
"Access to take-home cancer drugs is becoming increasingly urgent as 1 in 2 Canadians are expected to develop cancer in their lifetime," says Ms. Gorman. "CCS will continue to call on the Ontario government to help close this gap and ensure that all Ontarians have equal access to medication, regardless of where they take it and how old they are."
About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization 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. 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: Rosie Hales, Communications Specialist, Canadian Cancer Society, 416-934-5338