The main agenda at the London-Middlesex Health Unit Public Board meeting was the topic of increasing the tobacco tax as Ontario has the 2nd lowest rates in Canada.
Linda Stobo is the tobacco control manager for the London- Middlesex Health Unit and says that an increase of the rates would help prevent the youth in partaking in tobacco use, ” The evidence is clear that if we were to increase our tobacco tax to at least 10 dollars that we would that would help prevent young people from starting to use tobacco and it would prevent young adults from continuing to use tobacco.”
The agenda was brought up when discussed was that a whistleblower shared a slide deck from Imperial Tobacco which clearly shows that they fund groups like the national campaign against contraband tobacco to lobby the government and to lobby education campaigns as they use front groups to impede tobacco control legislation and regulation and to lobby to the government not to implement the tobacco tax increase which was discussed at the meeting.
Linda says that she has seen an decrease use of tobacco for high schoolers so by introducing a higher tax rate, this would further prevent the use ,” We have seen a lower tobacco use rate than ever before which is a success. That is good news for us, however we are concerned of the uptake in tobacco around the age of 17. There seems to be a spike in tobacco use so what are we trying to figure out how is the best to intervene and stand in the way for people using tobacco in their teen to young adult age.”
Also discussed at the meeting was the talk of possibly putting a tax on e- cigarettes but for now that will be further discussed at a later meeting.