City Councillors want to make your smokes more expensive

Three Montreal City councillors are demanding the next provincial government take aggressive action to fight tobacco use in Quebec.

"It's time to adopt strategies that won't allow a new generation of smokers to be hooked on tobacco products,” said Marvin Rotrand, city councillor for the Snowdon district, in a phone interview with CJAD 800.

He announced Friday that he will table a motion calling on Quebec City to raise taxes on cigarettes.

"There is a correlation between the price of tobacco, largely due to taxation, and the smoking rate,” he said.

In that regard, Quebec is lagging behind the rest of Canada, according the Rotrand.

"On the question of cost, Quebec is the lowest, and it’s been like that since 1994,” he said. “Right now, a carton of (200) cigarettes costs $96.36, in Quebec; in Manitoba, that same carton would cost $139.83.”

The motion, which will be co-signed by Andrée Henault (city councillor for Anjou) and Christine Black (borough mayor of Montreal North), also has the support of Montreal's Director of Public Health and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The motion further recommends the government raise the legal age to purchase tobacco.

“Look at what is happening in the United States,” he said. “Six states have raised the smoking age to 21; we need to be having that debate in Canada.”

As for just how much more expensive Rotrand wants to make your smokes?

"The national average is at least 25$ a carton more than it is in Quebec,” he said.  “We hope that is the minimum the next government of Quebec will do"