Quebec Eyes Higher Tobacco Tax

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Quebec Eyes Higher Tobacco Tax

12/04/2003
MONTREAL -- Quebec is considering raising its taxes on cigarettes by C$2.50 a carton ($1.93 in U.S. dollars), according to The Montreal Gazette. The hike would bring in an extra C$70 millio (USD$54 million) a year in revenue, Finance Minister Yves Seguin said yesterday.

"Personally, I will recommend we increase the cost of tobacco," Seguin told reporters, according to the newspaper.

"Even if we were in a comfortable financial situation, even if we had surpluses, I wouldn't hesitate to make this recommendation, given the major social costs of tobacco."

Quebec now has the lowest cigarette prices in Canada, the minister noted. At $55.12 a carton, Quebec lags behind other provinces and neighboring states, where a carton of cigarettes costs $70 or more, The Montreal Gazette stated.